JOHOR BARU: The Johor government will spend more than RM1mil yearly to subsidise the cost of water for those who use less than 35,000 litres a month, following the recently revised water tariff in the state.
“The decision to streamline the water tariff was made by the Federal Government but the state government wants to do its part in ensuring such a decision will not burden the people further,” said state Energy, Water, Communication and Environment committee chairman Tan Kok Hong.
State water management company SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd announced recently the streamlining of water tariff from Nov 1.
Its chief executive officer, Abdul Wahab Abdul Hamid, said the new tariff would not burden consumers as the increase would only be an average of RM1.85 per month for those who used more than 35,000 litres a month.
Tan said it would cost the state government RM1mil a year to help lower the tariff from RM1.85 per 1,000 litres to RM1.65 (per 1,000 litres) for 80% of consumers who used between 21,000 litres and 35,000 litres monthly.
Tan, speaking at a press conference after launching the state-level World Water Day at Kulaijaya, near here yesterday, said the state government would also foot the bill for hardcore poor families by as much as 20,000 litres a month and for those in the lower-income group by as much as 10,000 litres monthly.
“We have not ascertained the exact number of recipients (in hardcore poor and lower-income families) as the data is still being compiled by the Welfare Department.”
Tan reminded those who used more than 35,000 litres of water monthly that they would be subject to the RM1.85 rate.
“We want to remind the people to use water wisely and avoid any wastage,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Johor Baru Chinese Chamber of Commerce said it was against the increase.
Chamber president Loh Lian Hang said: “The increase will spike our companies’ operational costs.”
“We hope the government can reconsider its decision, taking into account the industries’ needs to be competitive,” he added.