Jakarta, IO – Indonesian Association of Modern Retailers (Aprindo) will stop selling cooking oil at 48,000 modern trade outlets. This step was taken by Aprindo because the government has yet to pay hundreds of billions of rupiah of debt with regard to refined cooking oil.
This may lead to the shortage of cooking oil in the market. Aprindo chairman Roy Nicholas Mandey said if the government does not pay off the debt, the association will immediately stop selling cooking oil in modern retail stores, reported Katadata, Friday (5/5).
“We will gradually reduce the purchase of cooking oil, so gradually the stock of cooking oil in the retail market will become scarce,” said Roy.
Roy explained that the debt resulted from the difference in payments promised by the Trade Ministry for the “single price policy” implemented on January 19-31, 2022. This policy was made because the price of cooking oil was high above the ceiling price (HET) of Rp14,000.
Roy said the government previously promised to reimburse the price difference. However, so far the government has been dragging its feet.
“It has been more than a year now,” he lamented. Roy said the association has had formal hearings with a number of government agencies. However, there is yet to be definitive solutions.
Aprindo held a meeting with the Trade Ministry on Thursday (4/5). However, there is still no clarity because the ministry has yet to decide on a deadline for the payment. Aprindo has pressured the government to settle the debt in the next three months.
“We really hope this problem can be settled before the general elections,” said Roy.
Trade Minister Zulkifli “Zulhas” Hasan previously said the reason behind the delay was because the Trade Minister Regulation on “rafaction” has been revoked. According to Zulhas, the debt payment needs a legal basis.
“If we pay but the Permendag doesn’t exist anymore, we will go to prison,” Zulhas said. (un)