The Indonesian government will consider increasing power subsidies in 2016 to serve the electricity demands of the impoverished, especially those in rural and remote areas, said Minister of Finance Bambang Brodjonegoro on July 7.

Earlier, the budget committee called on multi-targeted power subsidies to be applied in budget plans next year.

Some 44.6 million households in the country are currently benefiting from power subsidies, the finance minister said, adding that the new subsidy would increase equality as households are covering the same power costs as businesses, restaurants and hotels.

In 2015, power subsidies were estimated to cover 73 trillion rupiahs (over 5.4 billion USD), rising 4.4 trillion rupiah (330 million USD) from 2014 due to energy changes and insufficient subsidies in 2014.

Electricity supply shortages have negatively affected livelihoods and economic development in the thousand-island state.

In a bid to meet the increasing demands for power nationwide, the government plans to develop power plants with a total capacity of 35,000 megawatts in the next five years.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sudirman Said said that the plants will be constructed at the cost of 1.12 trillion rupiahs (88 billion USD) in over 200 localities of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and other regions in eastern Indonesia.-VNA