KPPU Expects Garlic Importers to Open Up Plantations

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta -The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) expects garlic importers open up a plantation to maintain the market's fairness and competitiveness among traders, the chairman Guntur Saragih stated on Friday. Saragih's statement was in response to the latest Agriculture Minister's decree No. 39 Year 2019 on the Recommendation of Horticulture Commodities Imports which scrapped the need for a plantation as a mandatory requirement for importers.

    Importers may now set up a partnership with third parties to open a garlic plantation, as per the new decree. In other words, opening a plantation is no longer the sole responsibility of importers.

    "Our interest is to make sure garlic imports will cause no disturbances in the local market," he remarked in Jakarta.

    Meanwhile, on a separate occasion, a member of the House of Representatives, Darori Wonodipuro, criticized the new decree as it would bar an effort to achieve food security, mainly for garlic, in the country.

    If a plantation is no longer mandatory for importers, they should allocate a budget for plantations that could be opened by state-owned companies and the private sector, the lawmaker suggested.

    "The least we can do is to use their money if the importers are no longer obliged to open a garlic farm," he added.

    The new decree has facilitated the interests of all parties and it was launched under the rules set up by the Geneva-based World Trade Organization, the Agriculture Ministry's Horticulture Director General, Prihasto Setyanto said.

    Despite the concerns for the new decree, the director general said that the garlic plantation will remain mandatory, but the importers may partner with others to fulfill the requirement.

    "The importers have a year to open a plantation, if they fail to comply with the regulation, we will reconsider whether to revoke or continue their permits," he explained.

    ANTARA