Tue, 23 May 2000

Kerosene missing in Purwokerto

PURWOKERTO, Central Java: Local residents here have been suffering from a kerosene drought for the past number of days, with the price soaring up to Rp 1,000 per liter from Rp 400.

"There is also a limited supply of kerosene in the hands of distributors, so we have no choice but to buy it at a high price," Supardjo, 45, an oil retailer, said on Monday.

Banyumas Police chief Col. Karel Risakotta indicated that several parties may have stockpiled the oil.

"Some sources also said that the rare kerosene supply was due to (state-owned) oil company Pertamina's policy to limit the kerosene amount in a bid to prevent possible stock piling," Karel said, adding that police is probing the case.

Locals have complained about the shortage as almost all activities here are dependent on the fuel -- from household stoves to small-scale industries. (45/edt)