Thousands protest fuel price hike in Indonesia

Police arrest a protestor during clashes at a demonstration
against a rise in fuel prices earlier this week.

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- Thousands of protesters marched along Jakarta's main thoroughfare to the presidential palace Wednesday, opposing government plans to increase subsidized fuel prices by 33%.

According to police estimates, between 3,000 and 5,000 protestors participated in the largely peaceful march to reject the price hike, which is expected to take effect April 1.

The fuel price hikes have triggered nationwide protests, mostly organized by student organizations and labor unions, the Jakarta Globe reported. In Makasser, capital of South Sulawesi and the largest city in east Indonesia, students clashed with anti-riot police and set a vehicle alight.

More protests are expected in the days to come.

Shubham Chaudhuri, a World Bank economist in Jakarta, says the government's plans will try to correct an imbalance in government spending. In 2011, the government spent 2.2% of GDP on fuel subsidies "and 1.5% of GDP on infrastructure and 1% of GDP on what we would call social assistance programs," Chaudhri said yesterday.

Indonesia's parliament has yet to approve the proposal but the government says a rise in fuel prices is necessary on April 1. The plan was announced last week and comes after global crude oil prices have steadily risen on growing tensions with Iran, rising more than 7% this year.

Workers also marched in a separate protest Wednesday to the Ministry of Health building to demand better health benefits.

From Kathy Quiano, CNN
March 22, 2012 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)

Source : CNN News

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Part of Comment:

gerbiltea

I am an American who lives and works in Indonesia and fuel is amazingly cheap here. Generally, it costs me only about 30,000 rupiah to fill my tank (3 dollars USD) right now. Indonesia was formerly a net exporter of oil, hence the prices, but all of that has changed... Indonesia must now import oil.

This is, unfortunately, a necessary step. In a country where the average person earns only 2-4 million rupiah a month (about 200-450 USD) this change will hurt a lot. I expect a lot of civil disobedience in the coming months over this unfortunate (but necessary) step.


If fuel is expensive why are the roads full on weekends? surely if you have no money you stay at home? no?


Marko12a is right. You can't feel up your tank with less than 5liter gas. And I never seen any American riding a motorcycle. Either way gerbiltea, you lied.
In my opinion, the necessary step is take care the corruption. Imagine how much money Indonesia can save from corruption. By this way, it might not necessary for the Indonesian government to increase fuel price. Why should be the poor has to sacrifice for the deficit, while corruptors are free with their stealing money.
It just not fair.


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