Wednesday, February 21, 2007

PNG visitors prevented from buying subsidised fuel

The Indonesian government has imposed the international oil price standard on Papua New Guinea residents who buy fuel oil in Wutung, Jayapura in Papua province. The measure was taken to prevent border crossers from purchasing diesel oil and gasoline subsidised by the Indonesian national government, Indonesian Consul General to Vanimo, Ignatius Kristanyo, told Antara newsageny.

"If border crossers from PNG are allowed to buy fuel oil at gas stations in Jayapura, they will buy the commodity in bulk and the Indonesian people in Jayapura and environs will run out of the fuel oil they need," he said. He said the purchase of fuel oil in great volume could happen because the rate of PNG's currency, Kina, is higher than the Indonesian unit, Rupiah, namely, Rp3,000 to one Kina.

Thus, the Indonesian government would set up gas stations on areas bordering on PNG to avoid the purchase of fuel oil in bulk by PNG people in rupiah, he said, adding that the government would also limit the volume of fuel oil to be sold in the border areas. He cited as an example that diesel oil would be sold at four Kinas or Rp12,000 per liter and gasoline at 4.50 Kinas or Rp14,000 per liter.

"The oil prices of international standard are lower than those in PNG," he said while disclosing that the living cost in PNG was higher than that in Indonesia. Therefore, many PNG people come to Indonesian areas bordering on PNG for shopping as the prices of basic necessities in the achipelagic country are lower than those in the beighbouring nation, he said.

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