Considering that PLN has been unable to supply suficient electric power to its 40 million consumers in recent years, this proposal has received mixed reactions from members of DPR.
Please find below an article about this that I quoted from The Jakarta Globe.
A proposal to provide free electricity for the poor and hike rates for the rich has received mixed reactions from the House of Representatives.
‘Free Electricity for Poor’ Plan Gets Mixed Reviews
A proposal by a state enterprise executive to make electricity free for tens of millions of poorer Indonesians and hike power rates for the rich has received mixed reactions from lawmakers.Dahlan Iskan, president director of state-owned power company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara, on Saturday urged the government and the House of Representatives to free users with an hourly average of less than 450 watts from having to pay the basic electricity tariff, or TDL.
Dahlan said the bulk of this group were the country’s poorest people, and made up half of PLN’s 40 million subscribers. As subscriptions usually mean a household, the move would potentially help 20 million families.
Dahlan said it should come before the TDL is raised by a planned average of 10 percent in July. If the government is really out to help the poor, he said, “the best thing to do would be not to charge the poor for their electricity usage.”
Only Golkar aired support for the proposal, with its faction secretary, Ade Komarudin, saying subsidies should not be given to those undeserving.
“But there must be a rigid scheme, that this is only for the poor,” he said, using the occasion to defend Golkar’s widely criticized proposal to give each lawmaker Rp 15 billion ($1.6 million) to develop his or her constituency as another pro-people move.
Sutan Batugana, a lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party sitting on Commission VII that deals with energy affairs, aired opposition to the scheme.
“Some think everything that is free is good, but I don’t agree,” he said. “I asked Dahlan Iskan already, why would you say all this when PLN still owes Rp 25 trillion to state oil and gas firm Pertamina? Don’t teach people to be lazy.”
Commission VII deputy chairman Effendi Simbolon, from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said the company should carefully study the financial consequences of the policy in detail before officially proposing it to the legislative.
“It was an unofficial statement, but if he [Dahlan Iskan] is serious, he needs to do his homework and submit a proposal to the commission,” Effendi said.
He said the scheme would be unfair to the country’s working class as they would end up having to pay more for electricity. “We shouldn’t teach the nation to hate people with money.”
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) secretary general Anis Matta said it had yet to decide its stance, but was leaning toward disagreeing with the idea. “Rich people are also paying a higher burden of taxes. I think this needs to be studied a lot more before we decide anything.”
M Romahurmuziy from the United Development Party (PPP) said PLN should have discussed how a plan like this might work with the Energy Ministry before making it public, and throwing ideas around that don’t make good economic and social sense would only disappoint people.
Dahlan said that if large consumers of electricity, or those using above 1,000 watts per hour, were to pay prices based on actual production costs for a year, it would add an extra Rp 28 trillion to PLN’s annual revenues.
Dahlan also vowed to make PLN a more transparent state-owned enterprise and to figure out ways to make the entire agency less bureaucratic.
“I have proposed the Corruption Eradication Commission [KPK] to have direct access to our procurement procedures, and the State Audit Agency [BPK] direct access to our finances.”