Local authorities told to settle RM348m debt for waste management

Wednesday, 08 December 2010

Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Local authorities having outstanding debts with solid waste management companies must settle them before the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleanliness Act 2007 comes into force next year, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.He said the debts accumulated since 13

years ago now stood at RM348.6 million.

“Local authorities having outstanding arrears with companies given concessions for solid waste disposal have to clear them before waste management services are taken over by the Housing and Local Government Ministry,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Solid Waste Management here today.

Muhyiddin said this was among the matters agreed on at the meeting which was held to discuss the direction of solid waste management in the country.”This is an important issue but has not been addressed for some time…overall there is acceptance that the federal government takes over solid waste management in the country but a few states have asked for more detailed discussions before they get on board (letting the federal government take over),” he said.

Muhyiddin said besides this, the meeting also agreed that state governments and local authorities would pay existing rates when the federal government took over the matter.

“Any rate increase when the service is fully privatised will be borne by the federal government,” he said, adding that an agreement on the payment schedules would be signed by the state governments, local authorities and the federal government.

Apart from these, Muhyiddin said the meeting also agreed that novation agreements (substitution of a new contract for an old one; or the substitution of one party in a contract with another party) would be drawn up in determining the new concessionaires for waste disposal services before the Act was enforced.

He said the attendees also agreed that existing landfills could be used by the federal government.

Meanwhile, the Housing and Local Government Ministry in a statement said all decisions made at the meeting were agreed to by all states except for Penang, Perak and Selangor which sought a postponement on a final decision pending a detailed study of the meeting’s recommendations.

The meeting today had deliberated on four working papers tabled by the National Waste Management Department and Solid Waste and Public Cleanliness Corporation.

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