While Indonesia offers subsidised petrol, this only applies to its national oil company, Pertamina and specifically, RON 90 which is known in the archipelago as Pertalite.
However, as global oil prices skyrocket which sees the Indonesian government spending trillions of rupiah in subsidies compounded by the dwindling quota of subsidised fuel for the year, Pertamina is looking at ways to not further conflate the situation.
Indonesian media outlets have been discussing rumours about the fate of subsidised RON 90. One of those is the restriction to allow certain vehicles to use Pertalite which could be capped to vehicles of up to 1.4 litres in engine capacity.
A representative from Indonesia’s oil and gas regulatory agency (BPH Migas) told CNBC Indonesia that the final revision draft of a Presidential Regulation concerning the supply, distribution, and retail selling price of oil fuel has been sent to the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs for approval.
The draft states that subsidised Pertalite will only be permitted for vehicles with up to 1.4-litre engine capacity as well as motorbikes with up to 250-cc engine capacity. Previously, it was speculated by the Indo media that the subsidised fuel will only be allowed for vehicles with a 1.5-litre engine capacity and under.
Even with the 1.5-litre restriction in place, this applies to various vehicles in the archipelago from common LMPVs like the to luxury cars like the . Moreover, the majority of these LMPVs form an automotive backbone for Indonesia.
Hence, reducing the engine capacity limit to 1.4 litres will only see a small number of models allowed to fill up with Pertalite. These include Low-Cost Green Car vehicles like the and Toyota Calya as well as the Daihatsu Xenia which are powered by engines of up to 1.3-litre.
Many of Indonesia’s most popular vehicles on sale today like the , , and are not eligible to fuel up with subsidised Pertalite if the revised limits are final.
On the other hand, the annual quota of subsidised fuel for 2022 is running dry with 16.8 million kilolitres (KL) of Pertalite consumed as of July 2022. Pertamina has a quota of 23 million KL of subsidised Pertalite for the year which meant empty fuel pumps and long lines are the norms.
Indonesian Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that the retail price for Pertalite is set at IDR 7,650 (RM 2.30) per litre while the economic price reached IDR 14,450 (RM 4.35) per litre. The country’s government has said that it will be spending IDR 502 trillion (RM 152 billion) on fuel subsidies this year.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian government stated that it spent nearly RM 40 billion of its budget on fuel subsidies and is looking for targeted fuel subsidy methods of its own.