Jakarta. A member of the House of Representatives has criticized Bank Indonesia governor Agus Martowardjojo for his comments on President Joko Widodo's intention to cut fuel prices, saying the central bank chief should have used a more appropriate channel to voice his concerns.
"Please use the right mechanism to address the government, don't openly attack an upcoming policy," said Mukhamad Misbakhun, a Golkar politician and member of Commission XI, which overseas the finance and banking sector.
Agus on Friday urged Joko to reconsider his plans for a reduction in fuel prices, before calling on the government to reveal its calculations in determining the exact costs in order to prevent public mistrust and maintain credibility.
The president's administration gained global attention and heightened local support after scrapping fuel subsidies last year, with a promise to redirect the billions of dollars in savings to infrastructure investment.
"I agree that every decision made by the government should be taken cautiously. [Agus] may offer input for the president regarding fuel prices, but please consider the ethical and constitutional etiquette that must be maintained," Misbakhun said.
He added that the central bank's authority does not extend to fuel prices, thus BI's comment on the subject — especially when made publicly — is out of line.
Both Misbakhun and Agus's comments were made following the president's request to state energy company Pertamina to review the possibility of cutting fuel prices as part of a stimulus package to prop up the economy.