The Ombudsman, Yeka explained, monitors 311 markets, both modern and traditional throughout Indonesia.
“As many as 69 percent or 70 percent less modern markets (malls) the compliance level is in accordance with HET, the opposite is about 13 percent for traditional markets, and for modern retail the compliance is 57 percent, and for traditional retail 10.19 percent,” explained Yeka. in the online discussion held by Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).
Yeka further revealed that the price of cooking oil throughout 2019 and 2020 was relatively stable at Rp. 14,000. Cooking oil prices began to climb in mid-2021 and continued until early 2022.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the Business Competition Supervision Commission (KPPU) Guntur Syahputra Saragih responded to the government’s policy of equating the HET to the price of premium cooking oil. Guntur assessed that this step could be used by companies that have a management industry to pour premium oil into bulk.
“KPPU has been monitoring cooking oil prices for a long time since last October, at the beginning and end of December we have started to see signs of an increase. Then we decided to enter the initial research first, so the process is a study from October 2021, then we only enter law enforcement on allegations of violations of the law against the cooking oil industry,” explained Guntur.
Oligopoly and Panic Buying
Guntur said that there is an oligopoly in the cooking oil business in Indonesia. Of the dozens of recorded cooking oil companies, explained Guntur, there are only four companies whose cooking oil products dominate the domestic market.
“The oligopoly market structure is not a violation. However, this market structure can make it easier for big business actors to determine prices, supply, and production. The goal is to maximize profits. With a market structure like this, smaller cooking oil producers have no choice but to follow the price in the market that is leading to high prices happening now,” said Guntur.
Not only the practice of oligopoly, the Ombudsman found a rare stock of cooking oil in the field, in fact many retailers offer it in e-commerce.e-commerce) . The lack of stock makes people do panic buying or buying in panic and in bulk to anticipate supply constraints.
The Indonesian Ombudsman Commissioner, Yeka Hendra Fatika, said that in the past two weeks, panic buying cooking oil in the community began to decline.
“In the last two weeks we have seen on the pitch what happens panic buying related to cooking oil has decreased. Purchase restrictions are still in place. We will see this pattern in two weeks whether there is a change for the better, if there is a change then that is actually the condition we want,” concluded Yeka.
Meanwhile, ICW’s Public Service and Bureaucratic Reform Division Coordinator, Almas Sjafrina, assessed that the government should be able to mitigate the scarcity of cooking oil. According to Almas, the government was not quick to respond to price spikes and the scarcity of cooking oil as one of the people’s staple food commodities.
“This has exploded into a problem that still appears in many areas. We can see that the government is not ready to mitigate the scarcity and increase in cooking oil prices, which should have been mapped out beforehand,” said Alma.[ys/em/ft]