Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has decided to reduce the prices of Premium gasoline and subsidized diesel fuel by Rp500 per liter with effect from 00:00 hours on April 1, 2016.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said announced the governments decision after attending a limited cabinet meeting on Premium and diesel fuels price adjustment at the Presidential Office here on Wednesday.

"We decided to slash the Premium fuels price from Rp6,950 per liter to Rp6,450 per liter and the diesel oil from Rp5,650 per liter to Rp5,150 per liter. We have not changed the price of kerosene," Minister Sudirman Said stated.

He said the government would periodically evaluate the fuel prices, both for Premium and diesel oil. Various factors would be taken into consideration during evaluation.

"We have been consistently evaluating the scenario every three months. This price has been decided after a review of the period of June and July when we will be facing the fasting month of Ramadan and the post-fasting Eid el-Fitr or Lebaran festivities," the minister said.

According to Sudirman Said, the government will not leave it to the market mechanism to determine the fuel prices. As the country moves ahead, prices will be maintained without being influenced by fluctuations in the world crude prices.

"We will prepare a ministerial decree on the fuel oil prices issue," the minister said.

On the occasion, President Director of the state-owned oil company Pertamina, Dwi Soetjipto, said his company was ready to implement the governments decision and the new prices are expected to be maintained till September or the next six months.

In the meantime, the government has claimed that fuel oil prices in Indonesia are among the lowest in Southeast Asia.

"Many people (wrongly) have this perception that our fuel oils are expensive," Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said at a joint press conference with Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said, Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan and state oil and gas company Pertamina President Director Dwi Sutjipto at the Presidential Office on Wednesday.

Only Malaysia sells fuel oils at lower prices than those of Indonesia, he said.

Meanwhile, the prices of diesel oil and gasoline in Vietnam and the Philippines are higher than those in Indonesia, he said.

Commenting on the governments policy to cut fuel oil prices, he said the policy is aimed at securing certain fundamental conditions to maintain low prices and keep inflation rate in check.

"What is more, we will soon be facing the fasting month of Ramadhan and subsequent festivities Lebaran in a few months time," he said.


Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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