JAKARTA, BALPOST.com – The government has been asked to reduce the highest retail price (HET) and other reference prices for basic commodities such as rice, sugar and cooking oil, which may continue to rise in February 2024.
Indonesian Retail Entrepreneurs Association (APRINDO) chairman Roy N Mundi said HET needs to be amended so that retailers can continue to provide essential goods to prevent vacancies or shortages in modern outlets.
“We need a stand by the government and the authorities to also relax the HET rules that have been put in place so that retailers can continue to buy, provide and sell essentials for the community,” Roy was quoted as saying by Antara news agency on Sunday ( 11 /2).
This easing is also intended to prevent vacancies and shortages of essential goods, especially in February 2024 when retailers will begin purchasing from manufacturers in preparation for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr deliveries to modern outlets.
Aprindo also asked for intensive coordination and communication between ministries/agencies and business actors in the upstream (manufacturing) to downstream (retail) sectors to present policies focused on urgent and adaptive solutions. “Then the problem of price anomalies in essential commodities can be well managed and controlled,” Roy said.
Food staples such as rice are known to have increased in various regions of Indonesia. This growth was driven by high consumer demand compared to the availability of goods.
Aprindo also noted that the price increase was caused by manufacturers raising prices above the HET, so retailers were forced to adjust the purchase (repurchase) price.
Roy said price hikes by manufacturers could cause job vacancies or shortages of basic goods in modern Indonesian outlets.
According to Roy, any future shortages could lead to panic or excessive buying due to fear of inventory shortages.
Retailers are now said to be struggling to supply local premium rice in 5kg packs. This limitation is due to the fact that the harvest period is not expected before mid-March 2024.
In addition, the lack of medium type rice (SPHP) imported by the government is also responsible for the shortage and high prices of rice.
“This unbalanced situation and conditions between supply and demand has led to an increase in HET for rice in today’s retail and people markets,” said Roy. (Kmb/Balipost)