With reference to my article “Water price: Have costs, but no revenue?” (Feb 24) – Terry Xu, the editor of theonlinecitizen had talked to me about the Public Utilities Board’s (PUB) annual reports.

No mention of revenues and profits, only costs?

Since there was no mention of revenues or profits in the media reports in the Straits Times and Channel NewsAsia – here’s what I have been able to compute from the PUB’s annual reports available in its web site.

$166.8m profits in FY2015

The Net Income after Government Grants and after Contribution to GCF (Government Consolidated Fund) and Taxation (Profits) for FY2015 was $166.8 million – an increase of 77.3 per cent compared to say FY2010’s profit of $94.1 million.

Last 7 years’ profits – $1.1b?

The total profits in the last seven years (only seven years’ annual reports in the PUB’s web site) was $1.0909 billion.

How much profits in the last 53 years?

Since the PUB was formed in 1963 – how much profits has it made in the last 53 years?

If we include accumulated interest – how much would it be for the last 53 years?

Projected profits – $220m a year?

Since the increase in domestic water prices will be from 30 to 41 per cent – if we assume the overall increase to be say about 32 per cent – the projected profits may be about $220 million ($166.8 x 1.32) a year.

Other countries’ “water profits or losses”?

How do we compare with the “water profits or losses” of other countries?

Population increase = even higher profits?

However, if the population and GDP continues to increase – and water consumption also increase – the projected profits may be even higher.

Can you imagine how much the profits may be when the population reaches 6.9 million?

Justified or not?

So, is the increase in water prices justified, especially since we are in one of our worse economic downturns?

Leong Sze Hian

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