KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry is still in ongoing discussions with states for a review of water tariffs in the country.
Its minister Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the discussions had been going on for the past 15 to 20 years but nothing was concluded.
"A review of water tariffs is not something new... it's not that we as a government have come in and are starting to increase water tariffs.
"The discussions have been going on for the past 15 to 20 years, but nothing has been done," he told Bernama here.
Earlier, the minister was the special guest of the Concorde Club to discuss the protection of Malaysia's natural resources and wildlife.
Concorde Club forum is a monthly discussion on current topics by selected speakers initiated by veteran journalists, Star Media Group adviser Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai and Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang.
Xavier said some states had problems in terms of industrial water supply, and without Federal Government intervention in this area, would still face water woes.
Meanwhile, Xavier who regards water as a human rights issue, said participation by the private sector was needed for the development of the national water industry.
Hence, he said, the amendment to the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Wasia) would streamline the procedures and regulations in its implementation.
For the record, the proposed implementation of the mechanism involves an increase of 0.06 sen to 0.71 sen per 1,000 litres, which is quite low compared to other utilities such as electricity, gas and telecommunications.
The current average water tariff rate is RM1.38 per 1,000 litres compared to the actual cost of RM2.31 per 1,000 litres. – Bernama