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Ha Noi to raise water prices by up to 30 per cent

Update: September, 19/2013 - 09:47
Water prices in Ha Noi will rise by as much as 30 per cent from next month following a proposal by the Department of Finance.— File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— Water prices in Ha Noi will rise by as much as 30 per cent from next month following a proposal by the Department of Finance.

A meeting of the city's People's Committee last week was told that the price for the first 10 cubic metres would increase to VND4,797 (US$0.22), up 19.93 per cent.

Prices for 10-20 cubic metres, 20-30 cubic metres and above 30 cubic metres will be set at VND5,607, VND6,979 and VND12,212 for one cubic metre of water used respectively.

Water charges for business and services will increase by 34 per cent to VND14,137 ($0.67) per cubic metre,

Head of the municipal Department of Finance's pricing section Vuong Thi Thu Hang said that the increases were the first since 2010.

"We have studied the expenses for water supply since April and found that input costs had risen due to higher power costs, taxes for natural resources and new fees for environmental protection, hygiene and safety."

She said the increase would not greatly affect hotels, which spent only 0.023-0.039 per cent of their expenses on water.

Hang said that even with the increases, Ha Noi would still have low water prices compared to neighbouring Hai Phong City, Hai Duong and Quang Ninh provinces, where water prices had already reached VND6,200-6,500.

In HCM City, the lowest price was VND5,300 per cubic metre for those who used less than four cubic metres.

Director of the Ha Noi Water Company Nguyen Nhu Hai said that for the past three years, higher expenses for providing water had led to his company making losses.

"The losses caused difficulties in company activities as well as affecting people's access to clean water," he said, adding that at present only 52 per cent of citizens in the capital city enjoyed what could be called clean water.

According to the company's calculation, the increase will make little difference to households that use less than 10 cubic metres a month.

Nguyen Thi Hai, a resident in Cau Giay District's Nghia Do Ward, said her family paid about VND100,000 a month for water.

"With the new price, we will have to pay an extra VND19,000, which is not much," she said, "What I really care about is whether the quality of the water will also improve."

Hai said water pipes needed regular checking to make sure they were not old and did not add to water pollution.

‘With the increase in water prices, we will still lose more than VND185 billion ($8.8 million) for the next few years," he said.

Hai urged local authorities to tighten regulations so that apartment owners did not take advantage of the increase to demand more money than necessary from tenants. He said this had happened many times before.

Prices are scheduled to increase again in October next year. — VNS

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