Government to distribute 400,000 gas stoves next year

Jakarta (Antara News) - The government planned as of March or April next year to distribute 400,000 gas stoves in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi (Jabodetabek), Cooperatives, Small and Medium Businesses Minister Suryadharma Ali said here Thursday.

The free gas stoves will be distributed to people through the lowest level administrations (kelurahan), he said at Vice President Jusuf Kalla`s office.

The decision to that effect is aimed at speeding up the implementation of the government`s program of replacing kerosene stoves by gas stoves, he said.

"We will see whether the tender for this project could be held earlier. If the answer is yes, a tender will be opened late this year, otherwise the tender will have to be held in the first week of January next year," he said.

The Cooperatives and Small and Medium Businesses Ministry has allocated Rp58.4 billion in State Budget for 2006 for the project, which included equipment.

The Ministry plans to prepare 800,000 gas stoves for the program in 2007 as it failed to provide 400,000 gas stoves projected this year.

Suryadharma Ali said all the gas stoves are made by small and medium businesses in Indonesia.

The minister did not answer when asked whether the government planned to raise the price of gas.

He merely said that gas will be cheaper than kerosene.

The price of one kilogram of gas is equal to that of 3 liters of kerosene, he said. (*)
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