Holding Process Is just like Renting Our Own Car

“Just like when we have our own car and we drive it, but then we are forced to hand the car over to someone else and then we have obligation to pay the rent of our own car”. The statement was quoted from Bintoro Suryo Sudibyo as the General Secretary of SP PLN during the SP PLN Group big meeting on Thursday, August 5th, 2021.

In his explanation, Bintoro provide a straightforward description about how holding process will occur in PLN Companies and its subsidiaries. The holding process, in the end will only put a burden to the state and the people. The reason is that PLN has purchase obligation “take or pay (TOP)” to private electricity 70% at the minimum by PLN company, when the need of the electricity among people is only 53%. 

The logic is easy to be comprehended. Should the holding leader is not PLN, so PLN should buy from the soon to be formed holding. Especially if the process of holding followed by the  IPO (Initial Public Offering) and it means the selling of the stock to private, and in the end electricity will not controlled by the state.

The tip of all of these are the electricity will become more expensive. And when that’s happening, sooner or later it will put a burden to the people.

In the same forum, the general chairperson of  SP PLN Muhammad Abrar Ali asserted that the holding process or IPO is actually only a guise to conduct a privatization. That is why, stated Abrar, SPPLN Union Group will stand in the forefront to do the rejection.

“Rejecting privatization means rejecting overpriced electricity” he continued. This will be not only for PLN employee but also for the sake of all Indonesian people. 

Related to that, PLN Trade Union has also sent a letter to the President demanded that the process on the holding being reviewed. This is part of trade union role to do the social control and in the same time reminding on the possibility of a conduct that will be violating the constitution.

Affirmed by the General Chairperson of PP Indonesia Power Dwi Hantoro, that the union has been communicating this rejection to many parties. According to him, when government and parliament deviated from the constitution, there should be parties to make it right. This is how we keep the nation..

When power violating the constitution, by making and ratifying Law on Electricity in contradict with the constitution, SP PLN Group are there to guard the constitution, ensuring electricity as the branch of production important for the need of the people, should be controlled by the state.

Being presence in the big meeting attended by 1.000 participants through Zoom, the General Secretary of SP Pembangkitan Jawa Bali (Java Bali Power Plant Trade Union) Dewanto Wicaksono stated that PLN Group Union should obstruct the holding process and the IPO. That’s not the first to be conducted by SP PLN Group. In the past, there’s always regulation aimed on the privatization in the PLN body. And so far, the union has always fighting to save PLN to be always in state’s control.

Other more important thing, according to him is how to eliminate TOP IPP, as the root of expensive electricity price. He stated that the main component of PLN cost is fuel and the purchase to IPP. Should the obligation to purchase to  IPP (Independent Power Producer or private electricity producer) being removed, so the electricity price can be supressed.

Lastly, the General Secretary of PP Indonesia Power explained straightforwardly on how trade union has important role in the PLN company. Started when Indonesia in its early independence, electricity and gas workers handed the Dutch electricity and gas  company managed by Japan to Indonesian government to be nationalized.

It is registered that in 2002, PLN Union and people’s element having a judicial review to Law Number 20 year 2002 on Electricity trying to privatized and the union won. After that when Law Number 30 year 2009 passed, PLN Union also conducted Judicial Review since the law was potentially caused a privatization. Again, workers won.

And Now, the stand of SP PLN to be always sided with the constitution also being tested by the plan to have a holding process by the Ministry of State Enterprises (BUMN), and again the trade union fights for ensuring there won’t be any privatization.

Explained by Andy, referring to article  77 Law No. 19 year 2003 on National State Enterprise, company that are not allowed to be privatised are the company where the core business, based on the regulation should be only manage by the national state enterprise, company where its core business is related to state defence and security, company in certain sector that bear specific task to conduct specific activities related to public interest, also company operating in the natural resources business and it is firmly based on the law and regulation are not allowed to be privatised.  

Electricity considered as important branch of production and controlling people’s lively hood. And of course electricity also tightly related to state defence and security, so based on Article 77 Law No 19 year 2003, national state enterprises in the electricity sector is part of enterprise that cannot be privatized.

The policy to form a Sub Holding of PLTP clearly violating  the state constitution, UUD 1945 Article 33 paragraph (2) and paragraph (3) stating: (2) production lines important to the state and controlling people’s lively hood should be controlled by the state. (3) Earth, Water and natural resources contained it, controlled by the state and should be used as much as possible to the prosperity of the people.

The regulation stated in the verdict of the case number No. 001-021-022/PUU-I/2003, of the Judicial Review file of Law Number 20 year 2002 on the Electricity page 334 and the verdict of case number No. 111/PUU-XIII/2015,  Judicial Review File of Law NO. 30 year 2009 on Electricity, page 103).

“The statement in control of the state is impossible to be reduced just related to the state authority to regulate economy. Thus, for either opinion that interpreting the statement on state control as the ownership referring to the civil right conception or the perception of state control only limited to the authority to manage by state, both opinions are rejected by the Constitutional Court” he further affirmed.

“The Court also affirmed that since electricity is part of an important production line to the state and fulfil the livelihood of the people so it should be under the control of the state, so all electricity business conducted competitively by treating business entity equally and by separated enterprises (unbundled) is contradict to the state constitution  UUD 1945,”

In relation to above mentioned issue, SP PLN should take more serious measures. One of them is by expanding members involvement through big meeting like this. Another thing will be conducted are building alliance to all parties rejecting privatization in the electricity sector and that’s important to be conducted. Because should the privatization happened, not only will impact the workers who work in the PLN area but also will impact the people widely with the increase of electricity price.  

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