Scarcity of Cooking Oil; Civil Groups File Subpoena for President, 3 Ministers

22 April 2022 17:56 WIB

A number of civil coalition organizations hold a press conference after submitting a protest letter to the Trade Ministry on the scarcity and soaring prices of cooking oil in the country, Friday, April 22, 2022. TEMPO/Mutia Yuantisya

TEMPO.CO, JakartaA number of representatives of civil organizations today, April 22, visited the Trade Ministry to voice their demands due to the scarcity and soaring prices of cooking oil in the domestic market.

They are Sawit Watch, the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), the Law and Society Association (HuMA), the Public Interest Lawyers Network (Pilnet), the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), and Greenpeace Indonesia.

“Today, we submitted an objection letter regarding the prices of cooking oil,” said the ELSAM Advocacy Team Hayya to Tempo on Friday, April 22.

The subpoena was for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartanto, Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi, and Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita.

“We ask [the government] to immediately fulfill our request no later than 14 days after we submitted this letter,” Sawit Watch Deputy Executive Director Achmad Surambo told reporters after submitting the subpoena to the Trade Ministry.

Achmad said his side urged the government to prioritize fulfilling domestic cooking oil needs over exports and to reset the highest retail price (HET) for cooking oil products at the retail level.

“The government should be suspected of neglecting its responsibilities and obligations to overcome the scarcity and high prices of cooking oil,” he added.

According to him, the cooking oil debacle that occurred throughout Indonesia has also claimed lives.

President Jokowi and Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang, as well as the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU), were also asked to evaluate the structure of the cooking oil industry in the country in order to ensure that there will no longer be a concentrated market structure. “So that a healthy competition market can be realized,” Achmad said.

Pilnet member Judianto Simanjuntak added that the civil groups will take this matter to the Jakarta State Administrative Court if the subpoena is not responded to within 14 days.

Read: DPR to Summon Trade Minister over Cooking Oil Fiasco

MUTIA YUANTISYA



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