KUALA LUMPUR - The Penang government is set to increase its water conservation surcharge to RM1 from 48 cents per 1,000 litres by the end of the year.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was previously reported as saying that the hike would take place for water consumption exceeding 35,000 litres each month.
According to Lim, the hike is meant reduce the rate of water wastage in Penang.
He said that the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) would send an application to increase the water conservation surcharge to the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) soon.
On Tuesday (Nov 21), Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said that that it wasn't the Federal government's decision to raise the water conservation surcharge in the state.
Instead, it was the state government's prerogative to set water tariffs, said Ongkili.
"The right to raise tariffs belongs to the state and the concessionaires. They apply to SPAN when there is a need to raise tariffs. SPAN then conducts a study on the production, cost, profit and so on, and does not merely give its approval upon receiving any application," he said.
"The statement by the Penang Chief Minister that the federal government determines the water tariffs is not true. All concessionaires will have to send their application to SPAN which, after the study, hands over to the Federal government," he said.
Ongkili, who was winding up debate on the Supply Bill 2018 at the committee stage for the ministry, said the application sent to SPAN must have the approval of the state executive council and the relevant resolution must be sent along with the application.