TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said that the government had taken measures to reduce the deficit on the oil and gas sector that was mentioned by President Joko Widodo or Jokowi during a cabinet plenary meeting last Monday.
“We [are now developing] renewable energy because our oil and gas sector tends to decline, so we still depend on imports,” said Luhut in his office, Jakarta, Wednesday, July 10.
Presently, Luhut added, Indonesia determined to process renewable energy massively. This was in line to the plan that the country must use renewable energy at least 23 percent by 2025.
The government had tested B30 biodiesel that was expected to be implemented early next year. "That could save US$ 3 billion, it’ll bring good impacts to our current account deficit," he said.
Previously, the President reminded his two ministers, Ignasius Jonan and Rini Soemarno, about the hike in imports of oil and gas during the first quarter of 2019.
Jokowi highlighted the trade balance deficit reached US$2.14 billion in the first 5 months of 2019 that mainly triggered by a decline in exports by 8.6 percent throughout January - May and a drop in imports by 9.2 percent.
Based on Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data, the country’s oil and gas imports amounted to US$9.08 billion in January-May or a deficit of US$3.74 billion, compared to the exports at US$5.34 billion in the same period.
During the period, the oil and gas import was actually lower than that of last year’s US$11.922. The deficit was recorded at US$ 5.12 billion in the first five months of 2018.