The Indonesian government’s energy subsidy spending has always been a topic of controversy. By keeping fuel and electricity prices low the central government aims to support the Indonesian people as well as the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as – indeed – poverty remains a big problem in Indonesia; a country where nearly ten percent of the population lives below the national poverty line (which is 26.5 million individuals in absolute terms).
14 June 2022 (closed)
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Today's Headlines Energy Subsidy
On 6 June 2022 Indonesia Investments released its latest monthly report. As usual, our report offers independent, objective, and in-depth analyses of key economic, political and social topics that were in the news in Indonesia over the past month.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) detects a slowdown in GDP growth in major emerging market economies and decline in commodity prices, and more recently, a reversal in push factors tied to a prospective exit from extraordinarily easy global monetary conditions, has put pressure on Indonesia’s balance of payments and heightened its vulnerability to shocks. Domestic policy accommodation and rising energy subsidies have also given rise to increased external and fiscal imbalances.
The depreciating Indonesia rupiah exchange rate has large consequences for Indonesia's state budget, in particular fuel subsidy spending, as the government imports a large quantity of its crude oil demand (in US dollars). The weak rupiah, which has depreciated about 25 percent against the US dollar since the start of 2013, results in a ballooning of fuel subsidy spending. In the Revised State Budget of 2013, fuel subsidies were set at IDR 199.9 trillion but after the rupiah's downslide, another IDR 50 trillion is needed to cover the imports.
Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), Indonesia's state-owned company that has a monopoly on the supply and distribution of electricity in Indonesia, introduces the final installment of this year's electricity price hike today (01/10). Electricity tariffs are raised by 4.3 percent each quarter of 2013 as the government tries to curb huge energy subsidies. Poorer households (450 to 900 VA) are not affected by these price adjustments. After the price hikes in January, April, July and October, electricity tariffs will have risen about 15 percent in total in 2013.
The outcome of Indonesia's 2014 budget deficit is expected to be higher than initially planned in the 2014 State Budget Draft (RAPBN 2014). In the 2014 draft, the deficit is proposed to amount to IDR 154.2 trillion (USD $13.6 billion), or 1.49 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP). However, the government's latest estimate indicates a widening of the deficit to IDR 209.5 trillion (USD $18.5 billion), equivalent to 2.02 percent of GDP. The wider deficit is mainly caused by Indonesia's depreciating rupiah as well as the weak global economy.
Latest Columns Energy Subsidy
The government of Indonesia proposes to allocate IDR 336.24 trillion (USD $32.6 billion) for subsidy spending in the 2014 state budget draft: IDR 284.7 trillion (USD $27.6 billion) for energy subsidies and IDR 51.6 trillion (USD $5.0 billion) for non-energy subsidies. The proposed amount implies a 3.41 percent fall in total subsidy allocation compared to Indonesia's state budget in 2013. However, despite a reduction, subsidy expenditure is still large at 18.5 percent of total government spending (IDR 1,816.7 trillion).
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