Ombudsman presses for evaluating Highest Retail Price policy for rice

Ombudsman presses for evaluating Highest Retail Price policy for rice

A worker carrying a rice in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi. (ANTARA PHOTO/Azis Senong/FR)

This HET policy would not be a problem if we have a large population living under poverty. However, BPS (Statistics Indonesia) data indicates that the number of poor people in Indonesia reaches only 10.4 percent.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Highest Retail Price (HET) policy for the rice commodity should be evaluated to adjust it to the current conditions in order to ensure fairness, according to Indonesia's Ombudsman.

According to Ombudsman member Yeka Hendra Fatika, the existing HET policy for rice is currently more beneficial to consumers and fails to take into account the farmers' interests.

During the Examination Result Final Report (LAHP) reporting event here on Monday, Fatika opined that this HET policy would be more on target if it were to be imposed in nations with greater levels of poverty.

"This HET policy would not be a problem if we have a large population living under poverty. However, BPS (Statistics Indonesia) data indicates that the number of poor people in Indonesia reaches only 10.4 percent," he highlighted.

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Ombudsman provided an evaluation record on three aspects, he noted.

The first one is that the HET has, since 2017, not taken into account the fluctuating economic conditions, such as inflation and an increase in production costs, he emphasized.

Secondly, he pointed to non-compliance to the HET among several entrepreneurs. Based on the investigation by Ombudsman, there had yet to be any penalty for these entrepreneurs, he stated.

The third aspect entails rice labelling, such as premium and medium quality types, to determine the HET. Fatika sought answers to the reason behind differing labels, starting from the harvest results to the rice sold to consumers.

Ombudmsan handed in the LAHP to the Ministry of Trade that will respond to the same within a fortnight.

Thereafter, within the next 30 days, the ministry is expected to take corrective action based on the report provided by the Ombudsman. 

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