October 18, 2012GEORGE TOWN, Oct 18 − Penang wants to know why Indah Water Consortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) was given an excemption from paying RM1.371 billion for a licence to contravene.
IWK had applied for a licence to contravene for disposal of waste where it needs to pay a fee for the licence that amounted to a total RM1.553 billion between 2008 and 2011.
The licence, under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, allows the applicant to contravene acceptable conditions to discharge waste.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Auditor-General’s Report 2011 had revealed that IWK’s accumulated fees for the licence amount to RM1.553 billion by last year.
“The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water had, on September 28, approved an exception to the fee of RM1.371 billion leaving a balance of only RM182.56 million,” he said.
He asked why IWK was given this exception when the sum could have been used to
protect and restore the environment from the discharge of waste that contravenes acceptable environmental conditions.
“The RM1.371 billion could have been used to clean up the environment but now that IWK was given the exception from paying it, what are they going to use to restore and clean up the environment?” he asked.
Lim said the reasons given for the exception that IWK needed a capital expenditure (Capex) of RM500 million for the restoration and upgrading of its critical assets is not related to the licence fee.
“IWK needed a Capex of RM500 million is a different matter altogether and it has nothing to do with the licence fee that it must pay,” he said.
“So, now who is going to pay for the RM1.371 billion that could be used to restore and clean up the environment? The taxpayers will end up having to pay for this instead,” he said.