Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Co-operatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Teten Masduki has repeated that the government would not relent to demands from public groups to withdraw the prohibition on importing used clothing.

The imports of thrift clothing to Indonesia is prohibited by Trade Minister Regulation No. 40 of 2022.

"It has been prohibited, and we will not revise (the regulation)," Masduki stated here on Wednesday.

The minister said he had met representatives of thrift clothing merchants based in Jakarta's Senen Market to inform them that the imports of used clothing are prohibited by law.

Prohibiting imports of thrift clothing and closing illegal importers allows local producers to step in to offer product alternatives that merchants can sell after the import ban, Masduki said.

He added that the ministry had offered merchants to replace their products with local-made commodities and promised to introduce them to local clothes manufacturers.

"I had discussed this issue with textile associations, including cloth producers associations. They told me that merchants in Senen Market no longer sell their products, and they are losing out to imported thrift clothes," the minister said.

"The used clothes are sold at a very low price of Rp35 thousand (US$2.3) each; that price could not even cover their production costs," he added.

On Thursday (June 6), the Association of Indonesian Imported Clothes Merchants (HPPII) and representatives of thrift clothing merchants staged a nationwide protest at the Trade Ministry office.

The protesters argued that by banning the import of used clothes, the government no longer supports the people's economy.

They also demanded that the government revise the trade minister regulation and assure social and economic justice for thrift clothes merchants, as mandated by the fifth tenet of national ideology Pancasila.
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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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