80% slash in rates

Wan Rosdy (centre) with state officials answering questions during the press conference to announce the reduction in quit rent rates at Wisma Sri Pahang. — Bernama

KUANTAN: The recent announcement of a remission in quit rent rate by up to 80% in the industrial category comes as a relief to landowners in the state.

The Pahang government had earlier gazetted new quit rent rates for 2020, which came into force on Jan 1, but a wave of complaints from trade associations and landowners resulted in a review of the rates.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the remission for the quit rent rates statewide would be a relief to both industrial and business landowners.

He recently announced that for industrial areas in all districts, excluding Gebeng and Genting Highlands, the rates had been reduced to RM0.50 per square metre from RM2.50 per square metre, as gazetted earlier.

Wan Rosdy said for Gebeng, the gazetted new rate was RM5 per square metre but it would now be reduced to RM1 per square metre.

For the industrial areas in Genting Highlands, the rate, which was earlier set at RM4 per square metre, was reduced to RM0.80 per square metre.

For agricultural land above 40ha, the gazetted rate at RM300 per hectare was now reduced to RM250 per hectare.

“The revenue from the quit rent contributes to the government’s expenses for salaries of civil servants, public utilities and other needs in administration.

“We may receive less revenue from quit rent. However, we have to be concerned about the financial burden that the people are facing, ” he said at a press conference.

The hike in quit rent rates had drawn strong opposition, particularly from industrial landowners.

Up to 19 trade associations formed an action committee recently, calling on Wan Rosdy to rectify the situation.

According to the state government, land under the building category including residential as well as agricultural land below 4.05ha involving Felda settlers and villagers would not be affected by the 2020 rates.

“In fact, for agricultural land involving Felda settlers, besides there being no increase, those who are supposed to pay RM540 a year in quit rent have had their rates reduced to RM270 annually due to a long-running remission. The state government has always been generous towards them, ” it said in a statement.

For the building category, especially residential, the rates remain as in 2007 which was between five and 50 sen per square metre.“Thus, even for a luxury bungalow plot in Kuantan which is 650 square metres, the quit rent will remain at only RM325.

“In light of the information provided and the state government’s decision to grant remission or reduction for the aforementioned categories, it is hoped that issues related to the 2020 quit rent increase will now be resolved, ” the statement added.

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