Protracted debate over the price of water

Dear Dr Balakrishnan,

Your claim that the government is under-recovering the costs of providing water and used water services [1] is not representative of the overall truth. Besides highlighting PUB’s operating loss in 2010, why didn’t you point out PUB’s nine consecutive years of operating profit from 2001 to 2009? PUB’s operating profits were $47.5m, $70.7m, $225.1m, $274.8m, $173.6m, $146.1m, $107.6m, $57.7m and $154.0m from 2009 to 2001 respectively compared to a $71.9m loss in 2010 [2]. Therefore, the government has not been under-recovering the cost of water provision as far as the past ten years is concerned. So even though PUB obtains a grant from the government [3], that grant is on top of PUB’s operating profits for most of the past ten years of its operations.

[1] Straits Times, 7 Mar 2012, Protracted debate over the price of water

‘There is no double charging for used water services. Indeed, with the current charges, the Government is under-recovering the costs of providing water and used water services,’ Dr Balakrishnan told the House.

Pointing to PUB’s latest annual report, he noted that total revenue collected from water charges was about $1.2 billion in financial year 2010, compared with $1.34 billion in total expenses it needed to run the water system.

[2] PUB Annual Report 2010/2011, Pages 64/65

[3] Straits Times, 7 Mar 2012, Protracted debate over the price of water

In response, Dr Balakrishnan explained how the national water authority PUB does not overcharge for water. In fact, it requires a grant from the Government to pay for a water system that costs $1.3 billion a year to run, he said.

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One Response to “Protracted debate over the price of water”

  1. raj Says:

    This is a blatant case of misleading the House , it goes to show even when asked in Parliament there is a blatant disregard of the whole truth.The opposition should move a motion of censure against the Hon Minister.

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