News / Asia

Fuel Subsidies Loom Large in Indonesian Transition Talks

FILE - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono shakes hand with Joko "Jokowi" Widodo during a meeting at the presidential palace in Jakarta, July 20, 2014.
FILE - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono shakes hand with Joko "Jokowi" Widodo during a meeting at the presidential palace in Jakarta, July 20, 2014.
VOA News

Indonesia's soaring fuel subsidies are expected to be a main topic of discussion this week when the country's incoming and outgoing presidents meet to discuss their political transition.

The meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President-elect Joko Widodo, widely known as Jokowi, will take place on the island of Bali.

It will be the first face-to-face talks between the two men since a constitutional court ruling last week that upheld Widodo's election victory.

Widodo is expected to press Yudhoyono to lower fuel subsidies before he leaves office in October, giving the incoming administration more spending flexibility in the 2015 budget.

“I will ask many questions of President [Yudhoyono] regarding the problems in his administration, as well as unresolved issues and other programs that we might carry on, all figures that have been included in the 2015 [national budget],” Widodo said.

It is not clear if the current government will agree to make the politically unpopular move.

Energy Minister Jero Wacik, whose ministry oversees the subsidies, would only tell reporters Monday that all sides are in agreement that they should not be raised.

“We should not have to add more quota," he said.  "We’re all in agreement that the fuel subsidy is too high and should be [lowered].  The subsidy has depleted our budget.”

Economists have said that Indonesia needs to lower or eliminate the fuel subsidies to secure budget stability and make room for spending on infrastructure improvements, which Widodo has identified as a major priority.

Previous attempts to lower or eliminate the subsidies have failed, with some efforts leading to riots and mass protests.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Indonesian service.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid