E-payment to monitor fuel consumption
THE government is planning to introduce an electronic payment system to monitor the subsidised fuel consumption in the country, a move that could curb use to keep costs down.
Susilo Siswoutomo, deputy minister at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said the government "is finalising" a new regulation that would make non-cash transactions of subsidised fuel eligible only by the use of a special card.
That, in turn, would allow the government to collect additional detail on consumption pattern, according to Susilo.
"We will have three measures to monitor consumption. First is data gathered, when fuel reaches the petrol stations from the refinery, to vehicles from petrol stations (through Pertamina's RFID programme), and now this programme," he added.
The programme can also reduce consumption, Susilo said, as vehicle owners who don't deserve to be subsidised would be ashamed to request for the card.
The fuel subsidy programme is a burden on the state budget as cheap prices for petrol and diesel have caused consumption to overshoot quotas. The government considers collecting more precise information on consumption the first step in curbing use.
Still, there are 12 million vehicles and 86 million motorcycles across Indonesia, and attempts to monitor fuel usage would be difficult, said the deputy minister.
Ali Mundakir, vice-president of corporate communication at Pertamina, the state energy company, said the programme will increase subsidised fuel consumption.
The government instead should consider banning consumption of subsidised fuel for that type of vehicles, and that could create a bigger market for Pertamina, he said.