All steps have been taken by, among others, intensifying surveillance and imposing stern measures by the police.
Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif has assured that the distribution of fuel oil, particularly subsidized diesel oil, is running smoothly thanks to secure stocks.

"All steps have been taken by, among others, intensifying surveillance and imposing stern measures by the police," he said in Medan, North Sumatra, on Saturday.

Tasrif, along with president director of state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina, Nicke Widyawati, visited North Sumatra to check fuel oil supply and sales at fuel oil terminals and gas stations.

"Admittedly, the price difference between subsidized fuel oil and non-subsidized one is quite large amidst industries' demand or need for diesel oil that has increased significantly,” he noted.

However, the government has continued to handle the problem by maintaining stocks, ensuring smooth distribution, calling on industries to not use subsidized diesel oil, and taking stern measures against violators, he said.

"All safeguard steps have been taken. For instance, in North Sumatra, the police have dealt with three cases,” he added.

The government has issued a regulation on the use of subsidized fuel oil and will continue to evaluate and improve it, if considered necessary, to better secure subsidized fuel oil supplies, he said.

"The budget for subsidized fuel oil should be earmarked for other activities capable of boosting economic growth,” he added.

Meanwhile, Widyawati assured that fuel oil stocks are quite safe nationwide. The distribution of fuel oil also is also running smoothly, without queues forming for fuel oil at gas stations.

"The stocks are safe. Pertamina continues to monitor and is ready to augment supplies, if necessary,” she said.

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Translator: Evalisa Siregar, Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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