Poor distribution could be the cause of the ongoing scarcity of 3-kilogram subsidized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the domestic market, state oil and gas firm PT Pertamina suggested.
“The shortage is caused by misappropriations in the distribution,” Pertamina sales and marketing director Hanung Budya Yuktyanta told reporters on Monday.
In addition to scarcity in the market that has happened in the past several weeks, retailers also reportedly sell the 3-kilogram subsidized LPG differently.
The government has set the highest retail price of a 3-kilogram subsidized LPG canister at Rp 12,750 (US$1.35). News reports, however, said 3-kilogram LPG prices might reach Rp 17,000 in several areas.
“Some irresponsible individuals also [allegedly] buy 3-kilogram subsidized LPG canisters, transfer the content to 12-kilogram cylinders and sell them at higher prices,” Hanung said.
The government does not subsidize 12-kilogram LPG, thus it sells more expensive than 3-kilogram LPG.
Hanung claimed that LPG stock was sufficient to meet market demand after paying a visit on Monday to PT Dian Jan Adnan, an LPG distributor, on Jl. Mampang Prapatan XV, South Jakarta, and two other distributors.
“We want to inform all citizens that our LPG stock is secure,” he said.
Hanung said Pertamina had distributed 283,243 additional 3-kilogram LPG canisters in Jakarta, West Java and Central Java – where scarcity happens the most – to address the problem. The amount represents 22 percent of the total daily allocation that the three provinces receive from Pertamina.
The amount of subsidized LPG that was distributed in the first quarter amounted to 1.17metric tons (MT), or around one-third of the total quota of 3.61 MT allocated for the entire year. (mtq)