More than 9.1 million consumers in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya would see an increase in their water bills if a proposal by water supply company Air Selangor to increase the domestic water tariff this year is accepted by the government.
Harian Metro reported that Air Selangor acting CEO Abas Abdullah said the tariff review is being implemented for the first time after 17 years without any increment.
This comes despite the company recording revenues of RM2.45 billion, an increase of 12.38% from RM2.18 billion in the previous year.
"However, this increase is insufficient to cover operational costs and capital expenditure, and this will impact Air Selangor's long-term operations.
"Therefore, it is time to review and raise the domestic water tariff at a reasonable rate after 17 years without any increases," he said at a media briefing today.
He said the increase is a result of Malaysia's economic recovery post the Covid-19 pandemic and the adjustment of tariffs for domestic and special categories, effective from August 2022.
He added that the review was discussed with the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), which will determine the new tariff rates, and hoped a decision will be reached by the end of the year.
Abas also said the new rates aim to accommodate the increased operational costs and capital expenditures as most of the expenses are used for water supply infrastructure.
"Air Selangor does not receive any subsidies, and we hope that the water tariff can be increased gradually every three years so that sustainable water supply and water project management can continue for the benefit of consumers," he said.
Meanwhile, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari has denied that the water tariff would be increased.
"The water tariff is a policy matter that requires the decision and approval of the state administration.
"So far, the state government has not made any decision to increase the water tariff in Selangor," he said in a statement.