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Indonesia's power transition talks on schedule

English.news.cn   2014-08-25 22:45:01

by Hanifah

JAKARTA, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian outgoing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and president-elect Joko Widodo were scheduled to have a meeting aimed at smoothing transfer of power as energy subsidy issue would likely to highlight in the meeting.

The upcoming meeting, scheduled in resort island of Bali on Wednesday, was to follow up Yudhoyono's pledge in front of legislators mid this month that he would gladly help his successor so as to ease power transition between his government and Joko Widodo's.

Entering his presidency service, the Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo is facing tough problem with energy subsidy, particularly for fuel, which has been set higher by Yudhoyono in 2015 state budget.

In its official parliamentary speech, Yudhoyono allocated fuel subsidy at 291.1 trillion rupiah (about 24.8 billion U.S. dollars) for 2015, higher than 246.5 trillion rupiah (about 21 billion U.S. dollars) set for this year.

The allocation figure was significant compared to total the budget that stood at 2,019.9 trillion rupiah (about 172.5 billion U.S. dollars). Many have feared that Joko Widodo would not have ample fiscal space to finance his development programs with such a huge subsidy allocation. Option to increase the price of subsidized fuel was imminent to solve the problem.

During his campaign period, Joko Widodo promised to support empowerment programs for the people such as health insurance card, promote education for the poor, banks for farmers and fishermen, toll road above the sea and many others.

Jerry Sumampouw, coordinator of Joko Widodo's Transition Committee, a task force to select eligible ministers to serve in Joko Widodo's cabinet, said is essential for Yudhoyono to make a " breakthrough" in 2015 budget so as to synchronize the works of ministers serving in the new government.

"So they can immediately run the programs shortly after the installment (of the new president)," Jerry said on Monday.

Joko Widodo was scheduled to be sworn-in on Oct. 20.

He said the outgoing president should partly mend the burden of the new president Joko Widodo and his deputy Jusuf Kalla, should the new government plan to increase the subsidized fuel price which now set at 6,500 rupiah (about 0.5 U.S. dollar).

At least his assistance is provided to explain the assurance on the using of funds initially allocated for fuel subsidy to finance other sectors like health, agriculture, maritime, stabilizing staple food price.

"Communication with people is direly needed at this point," he said in a statement.

Rumors have been swirled that the price of subsidized fuel would be increased up to 8,000 rupiah (about 0.68 U.S. dollar)

Meanwhile, Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said on Monday that the existing government has no plan to increase the price of subsidized fuel this year.

"It takes serious talks to issue such a decision. The existing government only has two effective months of service. There is a new government coming in. So let's just wait," Jero said here.

The existing government has cut down subsidized fuel quota to 46 million kiloliter this year from initial allocation set at 48 million kiloliter as it is hardly able to preserve the budget set at 246.5 trillion rupiah (about 21 billion U.S. dollars) as it might swell due to excessive consumption in the fuel.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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