SHAH ALAM: State governments do not have the authority to approve increases in water tariffs as this matter needs to be brought to the ministerial level (Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change) even though there is a need to do so.
Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said any state would agree to raise water tariffs as a solution to the increase in operating costs borne by concessionaires.
"Any minister responsible for managing water and natural resources will eventually agree that tariff increases are part of the solution.
"Pahang, for example, has not been able to bear its huge debt burden because it has not been able to raise tariffs for 30 years.
"Only Johor has been successful in raising (tariffs) before 2018 because it was able to replace the whole lot of 20,000 pipes that needed to be changed," he said.
Amirudin said this when winding up the debate on the Supply Enactment Bill 2024 at the Selangor State Assembly sitting on Tuesday (Nov 21).
However, he said Selangor continued to provide free water despite the high cost after seeing that the initiative benefited the people.
In the meantime, Amirudin said the increase in water tariffs had also been agreed by other states, including those led by Perikatan Nasional.
Responding to Opposition leader Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali's (PN-Hulu Kelang) interjection in relation to the alleged water tariff review to be made within six months next year, Amirudin said the matter should be decided at the federal level.
"It is not us (state government) that completely decides...we don't have a date yet. The schedule is around the first six months of next year after approval by the National Water Services Commission (SPAN).
"This is a mutual agreement... I have said objectively all states should agree (as) not only our state is burdened but other states as well. We have not decided when to raise tariffs as the schedule will be decided by the minister," he added.
The state assembly sitting continues on Wednesday (Nov 22). - Bernama