Selasa , 02 Agustus 2016, 23:01 WIB

Minister to discuss price stanility with businessmen

Red: Julkifli Marbun
Republika/Tahta Aidilla
Enggartiasto Lukito
Enggartiasto Lukito

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukito has confirmed he will hold a meeting with domestic businesspersons to discuss the prices of essential commodities, which are currently still high.

"I will urge the businesspersons to discuss (the prices) next week. I have held internal discussions over the matter at the trade ministry in the past several days," Lukito stated after attending a meeting of the Indonesia-Australia Business Partnership Group here on Tuesday.

The minister said some issues to be discussed with the businessmen cover the government's steps to implement its price stabilization program for essential commodities and to evaluate the reasons behind the high prices in the market.

"I will seek an explanation on why the prices are still high and whether it is due to risks or bureaucracy. If it is caused by bureaucratic problems, the government will solve it. However, if the prices are high due to motives to make high profits, then I will advise them against it," Lukito pointed out.

According to the minister, the efforts to reduce the high prices of basic commodities are a homework that should be completed soon after President Joko Widodo named him the trade minister to replace Thomas Lembong.

Lukito affirmed that apart from doing his best to lower the prices of basic commodities, he will also strive to build the stocks of essential goods.

He hinted at the need to maintain a balance between the availability of stocks and the people's purchasing power.

"In this case, I have to soon meet the agriculture minister and the head of the state logistics board. There must be balance between stock availability and affordability of the people. On the other hand, we must also improve the welfare of farmers, cattle breeders, and others of the farming community," he stated.

Data at the Basic Need Market Monitoring System of the Trade Ministry revealed on Tuesday that the price of sugar, one of the commodities registering a price hike, was still high. The national average price of sugar was recorded at Rp16,249.49 per kilogram on Tuesday (Aug. 2).

In the meantime, the price of beef was still recorded at Rp114,372,06 per kilogram, which is far from the government's target to lower it to Rp80 thousand per kilogram.

Other commodities, whose prices are still increasing, include shallots. The national average price of shallots reached Rp44,238.38 per kilogram, far higher than its normal price of some Rp20 thousand to Rp25 thousand per kilogram.