SPAN: Water tariff adjustment for service sustainability, not to benefit water companies

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 ― The adjustment of water tariffs expected to take place this year is aimed at ensuring the sustainability of services, and not for water companies to make excessive profits, National Water Services Commission (SPAN) Corporate Communications and Consumer Affairs Unit director, Mohd Fazil Ismail said.

He said SPAN has conducted a Tariff Setting Mechanism (TSM) study to ensure a fair tariff adjustment for both water companies and consumers.

“We take into account the company’s operating expenses (opex) and capital expenses (capex), and we have determined the rate (tariff) that should be implemented, and it is not the operator who determines it,” he said when appearing in Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme last night that discussed the topic “Water Tariff Adjustment 2024”.

At the same time, he said if the water tariff increase is implemented this year, the expected average increase imposed on consumers would only be an additional RM3 per monthly bill.

“(For example) If consumers currently pay about RM20 for their bills, it will become RM23, only a 10 sen increase per day, and it is a minimum increase imposed on consumers,” he said.

Mohd Fazil said current water tariffs, perceived as being too low, are causing water companies to be unable to upgrade basic infrastructure, including replacing pipes and facilities.

“Most of the problems (with water services) are due to old pipes and facilities. They want to carry out the work (upgrading), but because the tariff is low and operators don’t have enough funds, how can the work be carried out?” he said.

Meanwhile, Amlir Ayat, the acting president of the Water Forum, agreed with the proposal to implement water tariff adjustments to ensure that people always conserve water.

“Some communities use water without feeling burdened, perhaps because it is cheap, but with this step, communities can teach the younger generation to use water wisely,” he said.

Amlir also expressed the hope that with the tariff increase, businesses and companies would not take advantage by raising prices of goods and services.

“I am aware of the current economic situation, but let’s not make it difficult for existing consumers,” he said. ― Bernama



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