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Restrictions on Subsidized Fuel Deliver Justice for Vulnerable Communities

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By: Rivaldi Adrian )*

Subsidized Fuel Oil (BBM) is indeed intended for the lower middle class, but in reality, not a few people from the economically well-off group actually use subsidized fuel, this is what makes the government implement a policy of limiting subsidized fuel.

A member of the Committee for the Downstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency (BPH Migas), Saleh Abdurrahman, said that closed distribution is one solution for the distribution of subsidized fuel on target. Because currently with an open distribution system, the majority of users of subsidized fuel are those who can afford it.

BPH Migas data shows that currently, for diesel subsidies, 89 percent are enjoyed by businesses and 11 percent by households. Of the 11 percent enjoyed by households, 95 percent are enjoyed by the well-to-do and only 5 percent of poor households, namely farmers and fishermen.

As for the pertalite subsidy, 86 percent is enjoyed by households and the remaining 14 percent is enjoyed by the business world. Of the 86 percent enjoyed by households, 80 percent is enjoyed by the wealthy and 20 percent is used by the middle class. Closed subsidies are the solution, people who are entitled to subsidies are checked and verified. If allowed, you will get a QR Code.

The chairman of the Daily Executive Board of the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI), Tulus Abadi, supports Saleh’s proposed closed subsidy, so that the subsidy is not enjoyed by those who can afford it. Subsidies should be  by name by address . If you want to enforce an energy subsidy, Tulus believes that the government and the DPR want a significant energy subsidy in the regulations.

According to Tulus, the government must clarify the criteria that are eligible to receive energy subsidies. Do not let the mistakes that have occurred so far, the distribution of subsidized fuel that is not right on target, repeats itself.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), Arifin Tasrif said that plans to limit the purchase of Pertalite fuel and subsidized diesel are being prepared.

The reason is that the regulation is still waiting for the revision of Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 191 of 2014 concerning the Supply, Distribution and Retail Selling Price of BBM, including technical instructions for purchasing subsidized fuel and assignments.

According to Arifin, the program to limit the purchase of subsidized fuel itself is an initiative of Pertamina. However, there are three options to choose from in carrying out these rules.

PT Pertamina (Persero) through its subsidiary PT Pertamina Patra Niaga has restricted the purchase of Pertalite at gas stations. The number of restrictions reaches 120 liters in a day.

In fact, this restriction was carried out as an effort to test the system and infrastructure control while waiting for the policy to limit the purchase of Pertalite in accordance with the type and criteria of the vehicle.

This restriction on the purchase of Pertalite is also carried out because the quota for Pertalite type fuel is very dying, which is predicted if there is no quota limitation it will run out in the middle of next month or October 2022. Pertalite quota until early September 2022, remaining 3.5 million kilo liters (kl) of the set quota of 23.05 million kl.

Pertamina Patra Niaga’s Corporate Secretary  , Irto Ginting, said that the restriction on the purchase of Pertalite fuel in accordance with the criteria had not been implemented, because his party was still waiting for the regulations from the government to be issued first.

When viewed from the number, to fill Pertalite fuel with a total of 120 liters, is a large amount. Usually, those who fill the fuel are for long-distance travel buses.

Irto is originating, why is the limit of Pertalite content of 120 liters set because it is only temporarily as the default number in the system. We are currently testing the system and infrastructure. Meanwhile, his party is still waiting for the provisions on the criteria for vehicles that can use subsidized fuel which will later be contained in the revised Presidential Regulation 191/2014.

Of course, the government cannot continue to provide fuel subsidies for the wealthy. Therefore, the role of the  MyPertamina application  itself is really needed in its implementation in the field, to ensure that subsidies are right on target.

In the future, this precise subsidy program will be synergized with the regulation on the distribution of subsidized fuels determined by the government. This is a step taken by the government and Pertamina in ensuring that fuel subsidies are more targeted, as a form of protection for people who are entitled to enjoy fuel subsidies, vulnerable people who need energy at affordable prices for their needs.

Reportedly, restrictions on the purchase of Pertalite will be carried out as a trial for private cars and four-wheeled public transportation. In this limitation, Pertamina gas stations will record the number of vehicles that have filled Pertalite and Solar gasoline types. So that vehicles that have reached the volume limit will be automatically stopped purchasing.

Limiting subsidized fuel is a strategic step that aims to prevent the rich people from taking advantage of subsidized fuel such as pertalite and diesel.

)* The author is a contributor to the Nusantara Reading Room 

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