Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – State-owned electricity firm PLN has announced its intention to supply small-scale businesses and industries on 450-volt ampere (VA) contracts with six months of free electricity as part of the government's latest expansion of social aid.
PLN president director Zulkifli Zaini said the company had started gathering data of around 500,000 pre-paid customers from small businesses and industries eligible to receive the aid.
"We will prepare the technicalities as soon as possible, so that this policy can be implemented immediately," Zulkifli said in a media statement on Friday, while expressing hope that all tokens could be generated by Sunday.
Since April, the government has granted free access to electricity for around 24 million 450 VA customers and provided a 50 percent discount for around 7 million 900 VA customers for three months.
During a meeting on Wednesday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced several schemes to ensure small and medium businesses were included in the government programs, including the free electricity supply.
"We must ensure they are included as recipients of social aid programs, such as the Family Hope Program (PKH), staple food distribution, cash aid program, village cash assistance as well as free or discounted electricity," Jokowi said.
Zulkifli applauded the President's decision, saying it reflected "great commitment and concrete and continuous efforts" to protect the people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic."PLN is enthusiastic and has the full responsibility to carry out the commitment and translate the government's concern in assisting small businesses and industries," Zulkifli added.