Marius Frisson Y, Suharto, Wamena, Papua – Students of 12 campuses in Jayawijaya district, Papua province, staged a rally outside the Jayawijaya Legislative Assembly (DPRD) on Thursday to protest against the fuel oil price hike.
While reading out the official stance of the students, chief of the Unaim Yapis Wamena Student Executive Board (BEM), Wahyu Adi Pratama, said the students rejected the fuel oil price hike and demanded transparency in the fuel oil quota for Jayawijaya.
"We urge the government to reallocate budget funds from other institutions to (fund the) fuel oil purchase and extend the deadline for fuel oil services at fuel agents," he added.
The students also asked the government to promptly bring the prices of basic necessities under control amid the fuel oil price hike, probe fuel oil mafia, and control fuel oil prices at the retail level.
The students also said the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the local people's economy so the price of fuel oil ought not to be raised.
Chief of the Jayawijaya Legislative Council, Matias Tabuni, said the fuel price hike has also affected local legislators so he will pass on the aspirations of the protesting residents to Jakarta.
"The aspirations will not be left here. We will pass on (the aspirations) to the province. But I and my colleagues can directly convey the aspirations to the DPR (House of Representatives in Jakarta) in the not-so-distant future," he added.
The government raised the prices of fuel oil last Saturday (September 2, 2022).
Speaking at a press conference at Merdeka Palace, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif announced that the price of subsidized Pertalite fuel has been revised to Rp10 thousand per liter from Rp7,650 per liter starting 2:30 p.m. Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB) on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the price of subsidized diesel has been raised from Rp5,150 per liter to Rp6,800 per liter, and the price of non-subsidized Pertamax fuel has been revised upwards from Rp12,500 per liter to Rp14,500 per liter.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government has resorted to raising fuel prices because its spending on subsidizing the prices has continued to increase despite the recent decline in global oil prices.
The government made several calculations regarding the changes in Indonesian crude oil prices (ICP) and their impact on subsidies offered in the 2022 state budget, she informed.
Assuming an ICP of below US$90 per barrel or an average price of US$97 to US$99 per barrel throughout the year, the energy subsidy spending would still increase from the budget allocated by the government of Rp502.4 trillion to Rp653 trillion.
Even with an ICP of US$85 per barrel, the subsidy would increase from Rp502 trillion to Rp640 trillion, she added.
"Hence, there will be an increase of around Rp137 trillion to Rp151 trillion depending on the ICP," Indrawati noted.