IPOH, The new water tariff rate for domestic users in Perak has been set at 75 sen per cubic metre compared with the previous 70 sen, effective May 1. Perak Menteri Besar Office, in a statement, said that the increase of five sen involves the use of up to 20 cubic metres per month while the charge for the use of up to 21 to 35 cubic metres is set at a rate of RM1.08, compared with RM1.03 sen previously. It said that to reduce the impact of tariff changes on domestic users, the Perak Water Board (LAP) provides a rebate at the rate of 40 sen per cubic metre for the use of up to the first 10 cubic metres per month (equivalent to RM4 per month). 'With the rebate, the average tariff rate for the use of up to 20 cubic metres can be reduced to only 55 sen per cubic metre compared with 75 sen without the rebate,' read the statement. It added that with an increase of five sen, the new water tariff in Perak is much lower than the average rate of 22 sen set by the National Water Services Commission (SPAN). 'The min imum charge for domestic use is RM7.50 before taking into account the rebate. After taking into account the rebate, the minimum charge is RM3.50 compared with the current rate of RM3,' it said. For non-domestic users, there will be an increase of five sen per cubic metre. It added that the new tariff also does not affect the free water programme of 25 cubic metres per month for target groups and the free water programme of 20 cubic metres for houses of worship. The last adjustment to the state water tariff was made in 2006. 'The LAP should take advantage of the new tariff to improve the quality of its services including replacing old pipes and improving maintenance aspects. 'To do that, LAP needs sufficient funds to finance improvement programmes including constructing water treatment plants, especially in new development areas,' it said. Several states have already announced new water tariffs following the decision by the Cabinet to approve the implementation of the water supply rate adjustment for dom estic category and imposing electricity charges enforced on Feb 1. Source: BERNAMA News Agency