Unlicensed factories given deadline


Making things right: Factory operators receiving information during the launch of the programme to license factories and regulate operations at the Dewan Hamzah Hall in Klang.

KLANG: About 3,000 unlicensed factories in Selangor must either legalise operations by Sept 30 next year or risk having their land seized by the District Land Office.

Those who fail to do so after the deadline will also face fines of RM500 and an additional RM100 per day from the cut-off date.

Based on a 2013 census, there are about 2,885 unlicensed factories built on 2,638 agricultural plots of land statewide.

These unlicensed factory operators will now have two choices, which is to either vacate and look for another suitable land to operate on or convert the existing agricultural land to industrial.

“The state has decided to give factory operators and land owners in Selangor one last chance to legalise operations by Sept 30 next year.

“Before this, we have already done a total of six similar programmes, between July 2006 and December 2015,” said state Local Government, Public Transport and New Village Development Committee chairman Ng Sze Han after launching the programme to license factories and regulate operations in Selangor at the Dewan Hamzah Hall in Klang.

As of last year, only 630 factories were legalised to date and Ng hopes that all unlicensed factories will be legalised by next year.

To make this programme a success this time round, the state will be offering incentives to factory and land owners in a bid to tackle the mushrooming illegal factories.

For those who wish to convert agricultural land into industrial land, a discount will be given on the premium for land conversion.

If the premium is paid within two months, a 30% discount will be given, if paid within four months, a 20% discount will be given and if paid within six months, 10% will be given.

“For those who still cannot afford to pay the premium, owners can also opt to pay only 10% but the land will be under the Registrar’s caveat.

“This is the first time any state in the country is offering such a deal where factory owners need only pay a nominal sum,” he said.

Ng said the premium could amount from anywhere between the thousands and millions, especially if the land is situated at prime locations like in Sungai Buloh.

In fact, Sungai Buloh is one of the hotspots for unlicensed factories, including Telok Gong and Hulu Langat.

Meanwhile, factories which are already operating in the industrial zone need only get its operating licence with the respective local councils.

“Those operating on government reserve land – by the river or near schools and residential areas – will have to find another location and move out.

“Owners can apply for a temporary operating licence with the council while the operations are being relocated to another more suitable location,” he said, adding that only serious applicants would be entertained.

Owners must show proof of the premises they are relocating to.

“Our aim of doing this is to also prevent pollution, by ensuring all factories are fitted to the safety standards set by the respective local councils so that harmful chemicals for example, will not be leaked into the river or air,” he said.

Ng further stressed that this programme did not include legalising illegal plastic recycling factories which deals with imported waste, as that must be approved by the Department of Environment (DoE) first.

“Some people have blamed me for using this programme to legalise plastic recycling factories and I would like to say that it is baseless slander and untrue.

“Recycling of imported plastic waste is not encouraged, but for the recycling of local plastic waste factories must first seek approval from the DoE before the local councils can issue the operating licence,” he said.

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