Indonesia's energy and mineral resources minister Ignatius Jonan - Photo: Privacy.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the House of Representatives has agreed for electricity subsidy of Rp62.21 trillion (US$4.38 billion) in the 2020 state expenditure budget. The figure is up compared to the last year of Rp58.31 trillion.

“For electricity subsidies in 2020 is Rp62.21 trillion,” said energy minister Ignatius Jonan in a meeting with the House’ Commission VII at the Parliament Building, Jakarta, Wednesday (08/29).

Acting Director of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) Sripeni Inten Cahyani revealed electricity subsidies will be distributed to customers with 450 Volt Ampere (VA) of Rp32.17 trillion, 900 VA of Rp9.12 trillion and 900 VA of capable households of Rp7.11 trillion.

With the amount of the subsidy, the planned implementation of the electricity tariff adjustment for non-subsidized customers is still ongoing.

“The assumption is the existence of an adjustable-rate,” he said.

According to Cahyani, his office is separating the 900 VA customers into the capable category, to follow the tariff adjustments planned for 2020.

“There is still a little because partly because we are again separating from the 900 which actually are already capable, which are not. Because if it is rather difficult in the community,” she said.

The government’s plan to simplify the class of electricity customers into two, namely subsidized and non-subsidized is considered the right step. Related to this, the government is also asked for re-simplify the group of subsidized electricity customers.

Electricity observer from University of Indonesia Iwa Garniwa said, currently there are two subsidized customers, namely 450 Volt Amperes (VA) users, which number reached 22.5 million and 900 VA households cannot afford as many as 18 million customers.

“Now the subscriber is 450 VA, the number of customers is 22.5 million, 900 VA is 18 million, which is simplified to be two classes of 450 and 900 VA,” Garniwa told reporters.

According to Iwa, there are two choices for simplification of subsidized customers, namely by uniforming customers into 450 VA or 900 VA.

“If the 900 VA of 450 will benefit because it is getting bigger if the 900 to 450 will become smaller,” he said.

Garniwa also stated the plan to simplify the household class, into two precisely because it would eliminate the complexity of the types of household electricity customers. This makes it easier for PLN to classify customers.

“Actually, if the simplification has been a long time because it is too complex the groups become R1, R 2 and R 3. Now it is determined that subsidies and non-subsidies are the easiest such as it should be done,” he ended.

US$1=Rp14.200

Written by Misel Gual, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com