Government Awaiting the Right Moment for Fuel Price Hike
15 July 2003 09:26 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The Indonesian government has announced it will not postpone the planned fuel price hike, however, they will first act to arrange social compensation funds to offset the impact upon poorer segments of society. “The government is choosing the right time to announce a fuel price hike. However, they now have to prepare funds to lessen the burden upon the public,” Vice President Hamzah Haz told the press today (11/1). The government is intentionally preparing Rp 2.8-trillion in compensation funds before increasing the fuel price. This is aimed at improving economic performance, especially for those in the low-income bracket. These funds are intended to stimulate growth in economic activities. In this way, as fuel prices are increased, the society’s power consumption can be maintaned. “So, we expect some multiplier effects here,” Hamzah said. Hamzah hoped the community would not be pessimistic over the fuel price hikes as the cuts to government subsidies is aimed to improve state expenses in development. The government has requested all segments of society, including the mass media, to supervise allocation of compensation funds to some 55 million people in poorer regions. “If any embezzlement of these funds is discovered, I hope people will inform me,” Hamzah said. He has been especially entasked by President Megawati to supervise the allocation of the funds. Hamzah requested the security apparatus to take stern measures against those people who have hoarded fuel and have thereby brought about a scarcity of fuel. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has prepared special incentives for police to reveal those responsible for the hoarding and smuggling of fuel.