Entrepreneurs Urging Government to Increase Fuel Prices
Wednesday, 19 March, 2008 | 17:11 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Entrepreneurs are urging the government to immediately save the budget by increasing fuel prices and electricity tariffs.
It is considered that the government’s unclear policies will only reduce the general public’s purchasing power.
“The government should not be worried about winning votes again in the next election. (The former Indonesian president) Megawati did not increase prices and she still did not win the election again,” said Sofjan Wanandi, Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Entrepreneurs, on Tuesday (18/3) in Jakarta.
It is considered that price increases of these strategic commodities are unavoidable.
According to Sofjan, the jump in oil prices and the recession in the United States have already caused a slowing down of the economies in China and India.
“Subsidies of Rp200 billion for electricity and fuel are not normal anymore. If we want to save the budget, increasing fuel prices is the only way,” he said.
Sofjan said that maintaining fuel subsidies would delay infrastructure improvements.
The recommendation, he said, was to increase the price of fuel by not more than between Rp500 and Rp1,000 per liter.
“As long as it is not an increase of 120 percent like before, even though consumer could adapt to it eventually,” said Sofjan.
According to him, increasing fuel prices and electricity tariffs at the moment is a realistic policy.
Entrepreneurs will keep searching for innovations to survive.
“The government should do the same thing by -for example- strengthening the development budget for infrastructure and decreasing interest rates of,” said