Deficit rises 70-fold for Penang Island City Council

The auditor-general has urged the Penang Island City Council (seen here holding a meeting) to collect more assessment fees to improve its finances. (MBPP pic)

GEORGE TOWN: A federal audit of the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) shows it spent so much in 2017 that it recorded a staggering 6893.6% deficit compared to the year before.

According to the second series of the Auditor-General’s Report 2017, MBPP’s deficit rose to RM98.61 million, compared with just RM1.41 million in 2016.

The increased deficit, according to the auditors, was due to the repair of public utilities and increase in capital assets (RM29.49 million); vehicle maintenance; and purchase of office equipment, electronics and “professional and hospitality” payments amounting to RM11.69 million.

Another RM24.53 million was allocated for the “depreciation and amortisation of assets”.

The Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) fared better than its island counterpart as its deficit for 2017 went down compared to the year before.

In 2017, MPSP recorded a RM17.03 million deficit compared with RM24.19 million the year before.

The auditors urged both MBPP and MPSP to improve their collection of assessment rates to boost their finances.

Auditors found MBPP collected RM11.06 million less in assessments in 2017 compared to the year before.

MPSP, on the other hand, improved its assessment collection by RM8.49 million compared with 2016.