JAKARTADAILY.ID - The cooking oil shortage in several locations in the country is becoming the focus of Indonesia’s People's Representative Council (DPR RI) Commission VI. One of its members, I Gede Sumarjaya “Demer” Linggih from the Golkar party, highlighted the inadequate work of the Minister of Trade M. Lutfi.
Demer urged the minister and his staff to monitor and conduct market operations so the affordable cooking oil price program for the community can be implemented properly.
Demer then asked the ministry to put the effort into preventing commodity hoarding by bad-faith individuals. He also warned them to keep their focus on the cooking oil supply chain in several locations.
“The Trade Minister needs to be able to ensure the availability of cooking oil in the market,” Demer said to the media Monday, February 7, 2022.
Demer also reminded Lutfi to be able to oversee and implement the Regulation of the Minister of Trade (Permendag) concerning the Highest Retail Price (HET). The regulation stated the price of cooking oil where the bulk is Rp 11,500/liter, simple packaged is Rp 13,500/liter, and premium packaged is Rp. 14,000/liter.
“This is what Trade Minister Lutfi really has to put his maximum energy into. It is for the benefit of the people," added Demer.
The minister also needs to carry out domestic market obligation programs and domestic price obligations to keep the stability of cooking oil prices.
The cooking oil price hike has been happening since late November 2021. Since then, the price has gone even higher and its availability is even less, even rare in several locations. In addition, panic buying amid civilians created even more scarcity of cooking oil.
“It is natural of them to be afraid when cooking oil becomes more expensive and hard to get since it is the community’s basic needs,” Demer noted. “Even more so to MSME [businesses] who must have felt the effect the most due to the high cost and rarity of cooking oil.”
He deplores the pricing problem of cooking oil which continues and got even harder to control due to how slow the Trade Minister handles the problem.
“If the Minister of Trade could be more responsive in dealing with this problem from the start, I think this problem can be resolved more quickly and there is no need to keep the people suffering any longer," Demer said.
Demer also did not deny the allegations of missing goods when the government started carrying out large-scale market operations. He suspected it was done by certain parties. He asked the Trade Minister to eradicate cooking oil cartels who harm the people.
“It is time for cooking oil cartels to be eradicated,” Demer continued.
If this problem drags on, Demer estimates that this condition will affect the economic recovery efforts that have been very well carried out by the government during the pandemic.
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