M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) reviewed that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's policy on free electricity for 450-VA subscribers and 50 percent discount for 900-VA subscribers in response to the coronavirus pandemic was misdirected.
YLKI opined Jokowi should have prioritized consumers in urban areas since they take the hardest hit by the pandemic impacts.
"The fact is, they are directly affected as they cannot go for work or by means, their economic activities stop since most of them practice remote working," said the YLKI Chairman Tulus Abadi.
According to Tulus, groups that needed compensation and dispensation the most are people in cities, including 1,300-VA subscribers. "Moreover, many urban people face lay-offs or pay cuts as their companies go bankrupt," he added.
Meanwhile, he went on, people in villages could run their usual business normally as they did not take direct hits from the pandemic, especially those in non-red zone areas. "Contrary to those living in cities. Their economic activities are nearly paralyzed as they stop working."
Therefore, Tulus opined providing free electricity for all was misdirected and the rights of 1300-VA subscribers have been violated.
Ideally, 450-VA and 1,300-VA subscribers should have 50 percent off of electricity tariff, especially those living in urban areas. "YLKI urges the government to revise the policy," Tulus noted.