REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the government needs to intervene in coping with the problem caused by the surge in the price of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) in 12 kilogram canister.
"I decide the government needs to step in as it concerns the interest of the majority of the people although Pertamina has the authority (to raise the price) without reporting to the government," Yudhoyono said on his Twitter account on Saturday.
On January, 1 , 2014, the state energy company raised the price of 12-kg LPG in canister by 65 percent to Rp135,000 each. The price hike drew strong public protest directed at the government.
Yudhoyono said he knew, according to the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), Pertamina suffers big losses every year in LPG business.
Pertamina was reported to suffer around Rp7 trillion a year for having to sell LPG in 12 kg canister at a price below its production cost.
The price, which increases too sharp would result in a proportional rise in the prices of other goods and services, the president said.
"I know some of the people have protested the price hike by Pertamina," he said.
He regretted that the policy which has extensive impact had not properly be planned and coordinated.
"This does not necessary happen," he said.
He said he had asked Vice President Boediono to hold and lead a cabinet meeting to find a solution to the problem caused by the price raising policy.
He said he had given directive to the vice president that the policy must not result in an increase in inflation.
"Today (Sunday), I ask the vice president to report to me the result of the meeting at Halim Perdanakusumah airport with a pro-people solution," he said.
Yudhoyono is to arrive at the airport on Sunday from a working visit in East Java.
Boediono held the meeting on Saturday attended by economics ministers including chief economics minister Hatta Rajasa and Pertamina's president Karen Agustiawan.
Yudhoyono is expected to announce his decision on Sunday on the 12-kg LPG price.