Gov't Assures Supplies of Subsidized LPG
Jakarta. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has assured that it will not impose a supply cap on subsidized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), stating that the supply is sufficient until the end of the year. While there have been reports of shortages in some areas for the 3-kg cylinder LPG, the ministry attributed this to distribution challenges.
"There is no shortage, but the distribution is not fast or efficient enough. The distribution to certain places is quite challenging," Tutuka Ariadji, the ministry’s director general for oil and gas, said on Monday.
Distribution issues were observed at the retailer or grocery store level. State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina is required to sell 80 percent of subsidized LPG supplies through authorized distributors or agents, with the remaining 20 percent allowed to be sold through retailers. However, some people find it difficult to access official LPG agents or distributors, leading to scarcity.
"We can't simply ask people to go to distributors, especially if they don't have vehicles. The 80:20 scheme works in some places but not in others. It's not that the supply of LPG is insufficient, but rather because the collection process takes time," Tutuka said.
Pertamina Chief Executive Officer Nicke Widyawati highlighted a potential distribution problem due to a leak in the delivery system, based on her recent inspection in Bali. During the inspection, it was found that a retailer, despite being only 30 meters away from an authorized distributor, had no stock of subsidized LPG.
"It turns out the retailer usually got LPG cylinders directly from delivery vehicles. This is against the existing regulation, and we must work together to monitor this," she said.
She emphasized that subsidized LPG is intended for the poor, and eligible buyers must first register themselves with their ID cards. The retail price of 3-kilogram LPG is capped by local governments and varies from one region to another.
According to data from the Trade Ministry, the highest retail price for 3-kilogram LPG is Rp 21,500.
The appointment of distributors is also determined by local governments, based on a ministerial regulation issued in 2011.Tags: