DENPASAR ~ The Bali government has agreed to provide Rp5 billion (US$530,900) to the Denpasar Water Company to help the enterprise maintain its service to the public, a government official said.
But according to Kadek Agus Arya Wibawa, secretary of Commission C of the Denpasar legislature, the budget is 70 percent less than an original request of Rp16 billion.
Wibawa told The Bali Times that the company had proposed that the money be used for operational costs, planning new wells and debt repayments.
â€œThe company has been distributing water for Rp1,000 per cubic meter to the public, but it buys the water for Rp2,000 per same amount from the providing company,â€ he said.
â€œWe have to maintain a low price for the public,â€ he said.
The money will be added to the companyâ€™s 2007 budget, and at the end of the year the government would evaluate the program to determine if it would follow on to 2008, said Wibawa.
â€œThe legislative members have agreed to provide Rp5 billion in the beginning. After that, there will be an evaluation of the operation. The budget will be continued if we see any positive results,â€ Wibawa told The Times.
Wibawa said the company had been struggling with a large debt since it became a separate entity from the Badung Water Company.
â€œThe company took on Rp64 billion of debt, mostly owed to a France-based investor, which had been used to build infrastructure since 1997. But it has accumulated to Rp84 billion up to this year,â€ he said.