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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        22 January 2011

Indonesian utility questions power cap

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State electricity company PT PLN has recommended the government revise the 2010 ministerial decree on basic electricity rates, if the cap on increases to power rates for industries is to remain in place.

PLN business and risk management director Murtaqi Syamsudin said Friday that as an executor of government policies his company needed a clear legal basis to avoid problems that appeared to be caused by the excesses of government policies.

"The government and House of Representatives may make political decisions, but for us the most important thing is that they materialize their decisions into clear legal instructions," he told reporters in a discussion in Jakarta.

The electricity rates for industries have recently been in legal limbo since PLN announced it would lift a cap on power rate increases in early January.

Through a ministerial regulation, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry introduced new power rates in mid-2010. Business owners slammed the change, as calculations showed they would experience increases in power costs of between 20 and 30 percent.

As a compromise, the government and House agreed to cap the tariff increases at 18 percent, as of July 2010.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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