KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has yet to decide on any electricity tariff hike, and the remarks made by the Prime Minister was in reference to the tariff hike in January this year, according to Energy, Green Technology and Water Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
Last week, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said the rise in electricity tariffs early this year was necessary to prevent Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) from becoming subsidy-dependent on the Government.
“As far as I can remember, the comments were in reference to the tariff hike made in January this year. The Prime Minister was just elaborating on why the tariff had to be increased then,” Mahdzir said after officiating the electricity distribution conference South East Asia 2014 and IEEE Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference 2014 yesterday.
He said the Prime Minister’s remarks had been misunderstood and that some were taking the opportunity to confuse the public.
“No discussion has been held (for any tariff revision),” Mahdzir said.
Furthermore, some quarters are pointing fingers at TNB for the tariff revision despite posting a commendable net profit of RM4.61bil for the financial year ended Aug 31, 2013.
“To be fair to TNB, the company also forked out a huge budget allocated for generation, transmission and distribution. I don’t have the exact figures on TNB’s capital expenses, but the ballpark figure is about RM5bil for the three divisions,” added Mahdzir.
For the first six months to Feb 28, TNB posted a net profit of RM1.67bil on a revenue of RM10bil.
Meanwhile, Mahdzir said the Government was working closely with all state governments to prepare for the El Nino phenomenon in the country.
He said a special cabinet committee would be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and that the ministry was the secretariat for the committee.
Mahdzir said although the meeting had yet to be held, it had discussed how to go about the El Nino phenomenon, including cloud seeding, underground water and raw water transfer from Pahang, at the ministry level.
He warned that there was a possibility of rationing if the water level in dams reached a critical level.