The Jakarta Post | Readers Forum | Sat, June 15 2013
Paper Edition | Page: 8
Finance Minister Chatib Basri intends to raise the price of combustibles.
This is an excellent decision as it will indeed curb oil smuggling by irresponsible parties. The other side of the coin is that people will not like his decision but it is high time for the government to do so.
Oil smuggling has gone on far too long due to subsidized oil prices. A friend who worked for state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina told me that Pertamina officials are involved in oil smuggling, as they love the color of money. This method of stealing and enriching oneself from the state has gone on for over 30 years.
Imagine state losses of billions of dollars. People who own cars do not care if the price of gasoline increases, as they can afford it. Moreover, they are used to an easy and comfortable life-style and the fact is that Indonesians really do not like to walk.
Chatib Basri should however also consider the domino effect. The price of goods will increase too due to more expensive transportation costs.
When the economy is going well, that’s the correct time to take less popular decisions.
Lynna van der Zee-Oehmke