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10 APRIL 2024

Saturday, April 29, 2017

It’s stupid talk to say water surcharge is a tariff hike, says Ramasamy

Deputy Chief Minister Ramasamy slams Pulau Betong assemblyman for 'spewing words'.

PETALING JAYA: The Penang assemblyman for Pulau Betong has earned ridicule from one of the chief minister’s deputies for claiming that a proposed water surcharge increase will effectively be a hike in tariffs.
“That’s stupid talk,” said P Ramasamy in response to a statement by Umno’s Muhammad Farid Saad. “Does he know the difference between an increase in water surcharge and an increase in water rates?”
Farid said yesterday the state government had broken its promise not to raise water tariffs, adding that increasing the surcharge would be an indirect way of increasing tariffs.
Ramasamy said Farid was “just spewing words”.
“We are not increasing the water rates,” he told FMT.
He said consumers were aware that the state was not raising the basic tariff, only the charge for amounts additional to the first 35,000 litres.
The increase in the surcharge is from 48 sen per 1,000 litres to RM1 and is applicable only to domestic consumers and not to industrial users, who are charged market rates.
Ramasamy said a responsible government would have to consider ways to discourage wastage of water.
“Water is a precious commodity. Just look at how the people in other states suffer during drought seasons due to water rationing.”
He said Penang had seldom rationed water, unlike Selangor, Perak and Kedah, adding that this proved the state government’s policies and the Penang Water Supply Corporation’s management were “excellent”.
He also said the surcharge increase would not considerably raise the state government’s revenue. -FMT

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