Electricity Bill Relief Has Helped Us amid Pandemic, Say Customers

Friday, 22 January 2021 - Dibaca 666 kali

MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

PRESS RELEASE

NUMBER: 035.Pers/04/SJI/2021

Date: 22 January 2021

Electricity Bill Relief Has Helped Us amid Pandemic, Say Customers

To ease the burden of the poor and the prone to poverty as well as industrial and commercial sectors in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indonesian Government has decided to extend the relief on electricity bills until March 2021. The relief is given in the forms of electricity tariff discounts and exemption from minimum fees and load charges or abonemen for social, business, industrial, and special services customers of state electricity company PT PLN (Persero).

PT Prima Pengembangan Kawasan, a customer of PT PLN (Persero) that manages the Kuala Tanjung Industrial Estate (KTIE) in South Sumatra Province, is one of the businesses that enjoys the benefit of the relief. Business Director of the company, Saut F. Siagian, told how the electricity bill relief has helped his company cope with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The port industry is directly impacted because international trade business in Indonesia has nosedived," Saut said in a webinar titled Extension of Electricity Bills Relief for the Year 2021 held online on Friday (22/1).

The traffic of international ships, which was usually very heavy, has dropped significantly during the pandemic. As a result, port productivity has declined. Saut said that before the pandemic, PT Prima Pengembangan Kawasan used to spend Rp1.2 billion per month on electricity due to the minimum fees provision.

"After the stimulus is provided, we have received a quite significant reduction. We used to pay Rp1.2 billion per month on electricity, but now it's only about Rp200 million per month. We've been very much assisted with the government stimulus," said Saut.

A similar opinion was expressed by Chief Engineer of Surabaya's Tunjungan Plaza, Edy. The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly reduced the number of customers, especially in April and May 2020. Visitor rate was only 30% compared to the 2019 average. The decline in the number of customers and in operational time of malls and hotels has hurt business for Tunjungan Plaza.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, we had communicated with PLN to ask for dispensation. Our request had finally been granted by the government through this stimulus. So yes, this policy has helped us a lot," said Edy.

Secretary of Directorate General of Electricity, Munir Ahmad, who was present at the webinar as a speaker, said that the budget for the January-March 2021 relief was estimated at Rp4.57 trillion for 33.74 million customers.

Munir went on to detail the number of customers who received stimulus in 2020.

"In 2020, the number of customers who received discounts was 23.67 million of R1/450 VA customers, 7.63 million of subsidized R1/900 VA customers, 628,000 small Businesses of 450 VA, and 335 Industries of 450 VA," said Munir.

On the same occasion, PLN's Business and Commerce Management Director Bob Saril said that PLN expects customers to give input and advice to improve their services.

"By system, we're ready to distribute the relief again because it's an extension. We're optimistic the distribution will run well. In terms of business issues, we're always ready to support business actors," said Bob Saril.

The policy shows that the state is present in providing social protection to the people as well as the industrial and commercial sectors impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.

"Currently, government's decisions are made in phases. We've decided to provide the stimulus for quarter 1 of 2021. We'll study future condition as well as wait for the President's and the Minister's decisions. I hope our economic condition will improve," Director of Electricity Business Fostering Hendra Iswahyudi concluded. (IY)

Head of Bureau of Communication, Public Information Services, and Cooperation

Agung Pribadi (08112213555)

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