"The ideal price gap between subsidised and unsubsidised diesel fuel is only Rp1,000 (around US$0.07), but currently, subsidised diesel fuel is priced at Rp5,150 (around US$0.3), while unsubsidised diesel costs Rp9,500 (around US$0.6)," Zakaria noted in a written statement received by Antara in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, on Thursday.
Zakaria urged the police to assist in monitoring the distribution of subsidised diesel fuel, as the Down-stream Oil and Gas Industry Regulatory Body (BPH Migas) resources were limited.
"Distribution of subsidised diesel fuel should also be determined by regions instead of by distributors to allow oil distributor Patra Niaga to transfer Solar fuel to regions experiencing subsidised diesel fuel shortage," the director explained.
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Subsidised diesel fuel shortages that occurred in several gas stations are isolated cases and do not indicate a fuel shortage in the entire region, as complaints from the public and industry would be noticeable in the event of a general fuel shortage, he stated.
"I am convinced that subsidised diesel fuel shortage that occurred in several gas stations are isolated cases and does not mean a fuel shortage occurs in the region, as the distribution of diesel fuel for meeting the industry and shipping needs are not hampered," Zakaria clarified.
Despite confidence that the current fuel shortage was occurring only in isolated cases, Zakaria questioned the effectiveness of the digitisation policy enacted by the authority on gas stations that ought to be able to notify about a potential fuel shortage, as fuel stock data on each gas station was accessible.
The public policy observer also urged the BPH Migas and national oil company Pertamina to provide a plausible explanation to the public on the subsidised diesel fuel shortage.
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