Jakarta. To ensure that supplies won't dry up before the end of the year, state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina has reduced the daily amount of subsidized fuel it distributes throughout the country — a move that has led to long lines at many of its filling stations.
The adjustment is based on a revision in the State Budget that lowers the nationwide subsidized fuel quota from 48 million kiloliters to 46 million kiloliters.
The revised budget had left Pertamina with two options: use regular distribution quota, which would leave the country with no subsidized diesel (Solar) by November and no subsidized gasoline (Premium) by mid-December, or lower the daily quota to secure supplies until the end of year.
The adjustment, according to Pertamina's vice president for corporate communication, Ali Mundakir, has been implemented since Aug. 18.
"People are standing in line and that will continue to be case with the subsidized fuel running out in gas stations in the afternoon," Ali said on Sunday. "That is not a form of fuel scarcity, but a consequence of the quota adjustment. We hope that private vehicle users understand and start using non-subsidized fuel."
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said that it would not interfere with Pertamina's policy.
"We suggest people start saving [fuel]. The quota for subsidized fuel is limited, that's why this adjustment was made," Deputy Minister Susilo Siswoutomo said on Monday. "Those who are waiting in line are private car users — they should be able to buy non-subsidized fuel."