Fri, 16 May 2008
Semarang (ANTARA News) - Chairman of the Indonesian Demotratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) faction in the House of Representatives (DPR) Tjahjo Kumolo said his party rejected the government`s fuel oil price hike plan and was asking for the reform of state-owned oil company Pertamina for it lacked transparency in the production of oil in Indonesia.

"It is ironical that Indonesia is an oil producing country whose oil wealth is managed by Pertamina but there were no clear explanations on its oil exports and imports, except the amount of oil subsidy in the state budget," Kumolo said when contacted by ANTARA on Thursday.

He said that the planned fuel oil increases worsened the people`s conditions because prices of basic necessaries were now moving up even before the fuel oil prices were really raised.

Therefore, Kumolo hoped that Pertamina would be reformed so that it would be more open and would give a chance to the people to know the amounts of oil it was producing, exporting and importing.

"Pertamina should not be like what it is now when the crude price in the world market reaches US$122 per barrel, Indonesia is made panicked and raised the prices of its domestic fuel oils by about 30 percent," the legislator said.

Even the more ironical, he said, is the fact that almost 80 percent of Indonesia`s oil output is controlled by multinational companies such as the one produced from Blok Cepu oil field which is under the control of ExxonMobil.

"Therefore, Pertamina needs to be totally reformed so that it would be transparent," he stressed.

He said that as an oil producing country Indonesia should have been able to decide its own oil prices for the interest of its people. If it was influenced by the world market price that meant that economic liberalism had been taking place in the country.

"The increase in fuel oil prices is none other than a business war," he added.

Referring to the direct cash assistance (BLT) the government is planning to distribute to the poor, Kumolo who is also a member of the Commission XI of the DPR, said if the BLT was to be distributed to the poor based on data made in 2005, it would trigger social jealousy because it covered only six cities. "This is not fair," he added.(*)



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