Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has lauded Putrajaya's move to restructure Pahang's state water supply services industry and write off its RM2.1 billion debt.
The DAP lawmaker urged the federal government to give the same consideration to write off the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans for borrowers under the B40 category.
"If billions of ringgit in allocation can be provided to Pahang to write off its water supply debt, I believe the federal government can afford to give the same amount for the said (PTPTN) debt.
"A complete write-off may be impossible, but a partial write-off from the entire amount will greatly help this (B40) group of borrowers," said Lim who noted that the group's finances were among the worse impacted since the Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year.
"This Covid-19 pandemic is an unavoidable disaster. Therefore, the federal government should ensure the people's livelihoods are sustained," he added.
Lim described the move to write-off Pahang's water supply debt as a noble initiative by the government in resolving issues faced at the state level.
"I believe this effort will not only help to lighten the state government's burden to manage its affairs but also uplift the quality of life among the rakyat in Pahang.
"Water is a source of life. Therefore, it is important for the state government to ensure the rakyat will receive clean and safe water supply," he said.
Last month, it was reported that PTPTN collected total repayments amounting to RM595.25 million from 422,609 borrowers during the loan repayment period from March to October.
PTPTN chief executive Ahmad Dasuki Abdul Majid said one-third of the total 1.5 million borrowers - with estimated total loans of RM1.13 billion - have opted to serve their loans during the nine months.
As of October, 422,609 out of 1.5 million borrowers chose to continue their loan repayments, despite an extension granted for postponement of payments.