Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chairperson of the All-Indonesian Market Traders Association (APPSI) Sudaryono commended and supported President Joko Widodo's policy of the crude palm oil and cooking oil export ban.

"We praise President Jokowi's progressive policy on the export ban. We strongly agree with the president that the public's basic needs are the main and important aspects," Sudaryono noted in a statement here on Friday.

The APPSI chairperson found it ironic if a large palm oil-producing country in the world actually experienced a shortage of cooking oil.

The crime committed by the cooking oil mafia had made it difficult for people to get cooking oil recently, he stated. It was so rare that it caused their prices to skyrocket.

"I think President Jokowi's directives regarding this matter (showed) very clearly that it is time for the palm oil industry to conduct an overall evaluation to fulfill domestic needs and not prioritize exports to foreign countries," he affirmed.

Sudaryono pointed out that the production capacity of national industries could easily meet domestic needs.

Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi confirmed that the ban on exports of Crude Palm Oil; Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized Palm Oil; Refined, Bleached and Deodorized Palm Olein; and used cooking oil was aimed at meeting the public needs.

"Following the directives from President Joko Widodo, we reiterate that the current government's main priority is to ensure the availability of cooking oil at affordable prices for all Indonesians," he stated.

Minister Lutfi explained that the decision was made after taking into account the day-to-day developments, in terms of the availability of bulk cooking oil for the public.

As per information, the Attorney General's Office has named four suspects in the alleged case of allocation of export permits for crude palm oil and its derivatives, including cooking oil, between January 2021 and March 2022, which triggered a shortage of cooking oil.

The four suspects have been identified as director general of foreign trade at the Trade Ministry, Indrasari Wisnu Wardhana; senior manager of corporate affairs for the Permata Hijau Group, Stanley MA; commissioner of PT Wilmar Nabati Indonesia, Master Parulian Tumanggor; and general manager of general affairs of PT Musim Mas, Picare Togar Sitanggang.

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Translator: Sella P G, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Sri Haryati
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