A predicted post-holiday fuel increase has been postponed until at least September with Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan spruiking strong fuel supplies.
The decision was made by President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo during a cabinet meeting after many predictions of a likely mid-year increase. A declining world crude oil price and strong economic growth have both been factored into maintaining prices.
The decision applies to Premium with 88 Research Octane Number (RON) and Solar diesel with 48 RON. To date, premium is being sold at Rp.6,450 (US$0.48) per litre, while the price of diesel is around Rp.5,150 (US$0.38) per litre.
“The decision has been made July 1. In accordance with the president’s referral, the government won’t raise the price of Premium RON 88 and Solar 48,” Jonan said, as quoted by Okezone.
Keeping the price stable is likely to have been influenced by strong fuel supplies, particularly compared to holiday periods in previous years which often saw scarcity during mudik, the tradition of returning to home towns and villages to celebrate Idul Fitri.
“Generally speaking, we have had a better supply of fuel for gas stations than in the past few years. We have had almost no shortages of fuel stock in every region,” the minister said, as quoted by Okezone.
Meanwhile, Pertamina Marketing Director Muchammad Iskandar said that national stocks of fuel have maintained well even following a 12 percent increase in demand of Premium, Pertalite and Pertamax during the holidays. In Central Java demand reached up to 43 percent.
Jonan earlier called on the Downstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency (BPH Migas) to launch the One Priced Fuel Programme throughout the country.
The programme, which is aimed at improving equality by providing a uniform price for fuel regardless of the region, was first rolled out last October. Now, there are at least 12 regencies
in Indonesia which have applied the standardized price of fuel.
Image credits: Forum Keadilan