by BERNAMA/ pic by TMR FILE
LOCAL government authorities (PBT) can help state governments to plan and carry out more development in their respective areas if the assessment tax is revised every five years, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture) said by the doing so, it would help to reduce the state government’s dependence on the federal government.
She said the current assessment rate imposed by most local government authorities had not been reviewed for more than 20 years.
“With the rate imposed since more than 20 years ago, how are the local authorities going to be independent,” she said, adding that the last increase in assessment rate by the Ipoh City Council was 38 years ago, while the Kuala Terengganu District Council, 35 years ago.
“This happens because local authorities cannot increase the assessment tax as it is subject to the state government’s decision,” she said in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin (BN-Rompin) during the Ministers’ Question Time today.
Hasan also suggested that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) participate in the PBT meetings, and for the public and media to follow the meetings through “live streaming’.
Zuraida said it had been implemented since 2015
“Through this approach, the people can evaluate and gauge the transparency and governance of local authorities, as well as help the people to know the progress of development plans, as well as increase their confidence in the transparency and professionalism of the local authorities,” she added.
She said a total of 16 local authorities nationwide had embarked on the approach since 2017.
The ministry, she said, encouraged local authorities to adopt the approach, but to open the PBT full council meeting to the public would be at the discretion of the respective state authorities.
It would also require huge cost, she added.