PENANG’S domestic water conservation surcharge increase is still pending.
The plan to increase the surcharge from 48 sen to RM1 for every 1,000 litres used after 35,000 litres per month has not taken effect because the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) has not given the green light.
Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said in a press conference recently that the surcharge could be imposed only after SPAN approved it.
“If gazetting of water tariffs and charges as national regulations was not required, PBAPP would not have to wait for a response from SPAN,” said Jaseni.
He was commenting on recent reports quoting Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili as saying that the Federal Government did not determine the water tariffs of any states.
Jaseni refuted this, saying that the Federal Government was the approving authority of water tariffs and charges in Malaysia under the Water Services Industry Act 2006.
He said PBAPP could not impose the surcharge nor implement water tariff reviews without Federal Government approval.
While Penangites enjoy the lowest water rates in the country, the proposed surcharge will be the fourth time the state has increased the price of water.
The proposed surcharge will affect 126,000 out of 504,000 households because according to PBAPP records, they used more than 35,000 litres of water a month.