Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The government of Riau Islands province has said that it is continuing to make efforts to ensure that the central government can fulfill fishermen's requirement for subsidized diesel fuel.

The provincial government does not have the authority to set the diesel fuel quota for fishers in the province, head of the Riau Islands Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office Tengku Said Arif Fadillah said here on Saturday.

However, from the beginning, the provincial government has been making efforts so that the quota allocated by the Downstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency (BPH Migas) can meet the needs of fishers.

"This (subsidized diesel fuel) affects fishers' activities and the productivity of fishers. Thus, we are focusing on encouraging BPH Migas to set the quota in accordance with fishers' needs," he said.

The need for subsidized diesel fuel for fishers who use 1–30 GT fishing boats has reached 120 thousand kiloliters, Fadillah noted. In 2021, BPH Migas capped the quota of subsidized diesel fuel for the Riau Islands at 126 thousand kiloliters. However, the quota is not only for fishers but also for other sectors, such as commercial sea transportation, agriculture, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Thus, the subsidized diesel fuel provided for fishers in the province is not sufficient.

The quota provided by BPH Migas has not been sufficient to cover the needs of several regions, such as Karimun, Lingga, Bintan, and Natuna districts, he said.

He informed that Riau Islands Governor Ansar Ahmad repeatedly lobbied BPH Migas to determine the quota according to the fishers' needs. The result of the meetings between the governor and BPH Migas was the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

"From the memorandum of understanding, hopefully, BPH Migas can increase the quota of subsidized diesel fuel for fishers," he said.

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Translator: Nikolas Panama, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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