The government’s move to increase the basic electricity tariff for the upper-middle class with an electric power of 3,500 Volt Ampere (VA) and above is the right step. This policy is carried out so that recipients of electricity subsidy can be right on target. Regional Heads also support this policy.
The Governor of West Kalimantan, Sutarmidji, assessed that the electricity subsidy could ease the burden on the poor. According to him, this assistance is critical so that they can continue their activities in fulfilling their daily needs.
“I fully support the provision of electricity subsidies that are right on target and following their designation. So that the benefits can really be felt by the community and quickly increase economic growth and poverty alleviation,” said Sutarmidji in a press release, Thursday (7/7/2022).
Furthermore, the Banyuwangi Regent, Ipuk Fiestiandani, also expressed his support, assessing that the steps to revamping a special electricity subsidy only for poor people are appropriate.
According to him, in principle, the poor should enjoy subsidies from the state.
“The tariff adjustment is carried out to realize a fair electricity tariff, namely an adjustment to correct those that are not on target,” said Ipuk.
This policy is also supported by the Regent of Pacitan, Indrata Nur Bayuaji. He assessed that selecting a class of customers capable of adjusting the electricity tariff was also appropriate. This is none other than to maintain the purchasing power of the lower middle class, especially the impact of the pandemic which has eroded people’s income.
“We will fully support and oversee this government’s policy, as well as help provide understanding or information that we know to the general public that not all people affected are only wealthy households and government tariff groups,” Indrata added.
PLN President Director Darmawan Prasodjo emphasized that PLN will continue to provide the best service for all customers. According to him, the adjustment of electricity rates for groups does not dampen the steps in ensuring a prime electricity supply for the community.
“We remain committed to providing reliable access to electricity for all people. No one left behind is our principle. Equal energy for all people,” said Darmawan.
He emphasized that since 2015 even the government has had to bear the burden of the difference between the electricity tariff and the basic cost of electricity supply (BPP) through the state budget. The government has disbursed electricity subsidies of Rp. 243.3 trillion and compensation of Rp. 94.17 trillion from 2017 to 2021.
“However, during that period, well-off community groups, namely household customers of 3,500 VA and above also received government assistance,” said Darmawan.
At least, the total compensation for the category of capable customers in the 2017-2021 period reached Rp 4 trillion. This condition was exacerbated by the global turmoil that increased the cost of supplying electricity (BPP). Each increase in the price of Indonesian crude oil (ICP) by 1 US dollar increases BPP by Rp 500 billion.
“So that in 2022, it is projected that the government will prepare compensation of Rp. 65.9 trillion if there are no enforcement steps,” said Darmawan.
This year, the government is still providing support for subsidies and compensation to customers amounting to Rp 125 trillion, consisting of Rp 62 trillion in subsidies and Rp 63 trillion in compensation.
Darmawan said that PLN ensured that this electricity subsidy scheme would continue to be improved. PLN continues to do data matching and data accuracy so that the allocation of subsidies and compensation can be right on target.