"The hike will affect them."
Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - The government`s plan to increase the electricity tariff by 15 percent this year should be evaluated, said the director of the Indonesian Craft Industry Development Association.

"If the planned power tariff increase is unavoidable, the government should evaluate it after implementing the first stage," director of the Indonesian Craft Industry Development Association, Amir Panzuri said here on Sunday.

The evaluation is aimed to avoid the psychological impact against the price of other commodities, he said.

"The government is expected to prevent the psychological impact from happening that may trigger other commodities price hike," he said.

According to him, the electricity tariff increase does not only impact the major industries, but it will also affect the small-and-medium scale industries (UKM).

Aside from that, the power tariff increase will lead to a dilemma because the UKM cannot immediately raise the selling price of their products as there is no significant increase of the people`s purchasing power, he said.

The government will impose a quarterly 4-percent automatic power rate hike beginning January 2013 in an effort to reduce swelling subsidies in all sectors, which will amount to Rp316.1 trillion in 2013.

Meanwhile, PT PLN, the state`s electricity company, has begun to increase the basic electricity tariff in accordance with Regulation No.30/2012, drafted by the ministry of energy and mineral resources.

The House of Representatives has endorsed the government`s proposal in the draft state budget to set aside a subsidy amounting to Rp80.9 trillion for electricity next year.

In the meantime, president of the Indonesian Workers Unions Confederation (KSPI) Said Iqbal said here on last Thursday that an increase in the price of electricity beginning this month will reduce the purchasing power of laborers.

"The hike will affect them. Although the price hike will not be imposed on 450-900 VA electricity customers, many laborers hire houses with over 1,300 VA," Iqbal said.

Iqbal disclosed, with the electricity price hike, a laborer would bear a burden of about Rp15-25 thousand per month. This means that the increase in workers` wages by about 5 percent in 2013 would not be meaningful.

"Workers` increased wages will drop by 5 percent from the average hike of Rp500 to Rp700 thousand per month," he noted.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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