Govt to use IT to limit
subsidized fuel sales

Indonesia, a former member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is crafting yet another plan to limit subsidized fuel sales by implementing an information technology-based system in July this year.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's oil and gas chief, Edy Hermantoro, said recently the trial of the new system would be applied in Greater Jakarta only as the region was the largest gasoline consumer in the archipelago.

"With the new policy, drivers may purchase subsidized gasoline but only a certain amount. For example, they may not buy more fuel on the same day after purchasing 30 liters of gasoline," he said in Jakarta.

The government, he said, would see whether the new information technology-based system would be accepted by Jakartans before expanding the scheme to other regions in the country.

Currently, he said, state-owned oil and gas firm Pertamina was still mulling whether to select publicly listed telecommunication company PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (Telkom) or PT Industri Telekomunikasi Indonesia (INTI) to provide the system.

The two firms were the last tender participants out of 16 candidates.

The government has been facing difficulties in limiting subsidized fuel sales. It has been campaigning to bar the owners of private vehicles, especially those above 1,500 cc engines, from buying subsidized gasoline. But gasoline station attendants cannot do much to prevent such sales.

This year, the government expects subsidized fuel consumption to reach 48.39 million kiloliters or 2.38 kiloliters above the 2013 state budget target of 46.01 million kiloliters.

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