Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono held a plenary cabinet meeting here on Thursday to discuss preparations for the distribution of subsidies to the poor in connection with the planned fuel price hike.

He said the meeting would hear explanations from the finance minister about the revised 2013 budget and the chief minister for the people`s welfare with regard to the preparations for the distribution of subsidies to the poor to reduce the impact of the price hike on them.

President Yudhoyono said the government wished that the subsidies could be immediately distributed soon after the fuel price hike is announced.

He said he hoped there would not be a time gap between the announcement of the hike and the distribution of the aid.

The subsidy issue has become a sensitive issue with opposition parties suspecting the ruling party would take a benefit out of it ahead of the general elections in 2014, the accusation the ruling party has always denied.

The parliament recently approved revisions in the 2013 budget that include provision of compensation for the poor with regard to the government`s plan to raise the fuel price to reduce oil subsidy that has kept increasing to widen the budget deficit as the country has to import gasoline to meet the domestic demand.

The government plans to distribute compensations that will include temporary cash handouts and rice aid to reduce the impact of the fuel price hike on the poor.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2013