Consider public’s financial condition before raising fuel prices: DPR

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House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Puan Maharani has urged the government to take into account the public’s financial condition before raising fuel oil prices and electricity tariffs.

“The government needs to take seriously the (financial) condition of the community before applying a policy to raise pertalite gasoline, diesel oil, and liquefied petroleum gas prices as well as electricity tariffs in response to a surge in the global crude oil and gas prices,” Maharani noted in a written statement received in Jakarta on Tuesday.

According to public policy observer Trubus Rahadiansyah, the house speaker’s request is on the right track.

“What Mrs Puan expects is right. Before implementing a policy, the government must look at the reality, so that the policy will not appear to be elitist,” Rahadiansyah stated.

He highlighted the current gap between expectation and reality in the public.

The public is hoping to be able to afford various basic necessities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while on the other hand, the government has issued various policies that adversely affect the interests of people from the low and middle income groups, he remarked.

According to Rahadiansyah, all policies related to the interests of the people at large must be heedful of the inner mood of the people and the reality in the community.

To that end, he recommended several steps to prevent a fuel price hike policy from creating a public upheaval.

Firstly, the government should be able to educate the public regarding the fuel price hike policy, right from the foundation of the policy, the current national and global conditions, and to the impact of the policy.

Secondly, the government must pay attention to the needs of affected people through a strong social safety net.

The social safety net may be in the form of stimulus or relief package to encourage the people to become more productive, especially those engaged in micro, small, and medium businesses.

Source: Antara News