Minimal water tariff increase next year

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10): A water tariff setting mechanism (TSM) is expected to be implemented next year following the Cabinet's approval, said Water, Land and Natural Resources Deputy Minister Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji.

He said the proposed tariff increase would be minimal, between 0.06 sen and 0.71 sen per 1,000 litres, which is lower compared to other utility charges such as electricity, gas and telecommunications.

"To ensure that the implementation of TSM does not burden low-income households, the government will ensure that minimum increases are made for consumption between 0-20 cubic meters.

This is because water usage within the band represents 47.8% of domestic consumers in Malaysia," he said in a question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.

The current tariff is RM1.38 per 1,000 litres of water, compared with the cost of production at RM2.31 per 1,000 litres. "These tariffs do not reflect the actual cost of water, which has weakened the financial capacity of water supply service providers and risked the quality of service to consumers," he said.