Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Subsidized Petrol Consumption Limited in 2013?

According to Kompas daily, the Indonesian Oil and Gas Downstream Regulator Body (BPH Migas) says they will limit subsidized petrol consumption for private cars up to Rp. 100,000 a day starting 2013. Most likely they will use - in my opinion - a smart-card-like technology to control the car's daily consumption. If this is the case, it will be a big challenge for them since they should install reader machines in all petrol station in order to avoid possibility that somebody fills petrol in multiple tank stations. Given bad internet infrastructure in Indonesia, it is most unlikely that they will be able to use cable broadband to connect the stations with central server. If they want to use satellite connection it will be very expensive in operation costs.
I think the brilliant idea of the late Vice Minister for Energy Prof. Widjajono Partowidagdo should be endorsed again in form of an energy diversity program. It should consist gasoline conversion to gas program, incentives for gas converters, and also higher price of subsidized petrol in order to make gas competitive in price compared with gasoline. I don't agree if the government raise the price of the subsidized petrol without any plan of energy diversity program, because the national budget is not only numbers but an instrument of policy.