State government loans from the Federal Government for water-related costs should be converted into Federal Government grants, Samsol Bari Jamali (BN - Semarang) told the state assembly.
If this is not possible, then perhaps they could be converted into zero-interest loans and the repayment period be extended over a longer period of time, said Samsol.
He called for the close monitoring of water concessionaires when they upgrade water distribution systems and treatment plants to keep water tariffs low.
We are faced with high water tariffs, especially for commercial users. Domestic users may not feel it as badly, but implications towards future industrial development needs have to be considered as some industries have moved elsewhere due to our unattractive tariffs, he said.
We have seen the suppliers of treated water, SWC (Southern Water Corporation) and Equiventure Sdn Bhd, making RM1.9bil since 1992, but we are still facing problems concerning water sources, supply and tariffs, he said.
Datuk Sulaiman Taha (BN - Tenang) said that residents in rural areas should not be forgotten even though most development was focused on urban areas.