Indonesia’s business competition watchdog has signaled that cartels may be behind the sky-high prices of staple foods at markets across the country.
Business Competition Supervisory Commission ( KPPU ) head Syarkawi Rauf said on Tuesday that the body had found a huge margin between prices set by farmers for distributors, and prices that were then set for market vendors.
“This indicates that the problem lies in the process between the producer and the end user,” Syarkawi told reporters at the House of Representatives building, adding that the end user referred to the distributor.
For example, he said, farmers in Nganjuk, East Java, sold shallots for Rp 16,000 ( US$1.19 ) per kilogram to distributors, who resold the commodity for Rp 40,000 per kilo at markets, almost three times the purchase price.
According to the Jakarta administration’s staple food prices website, shallots are sold for an average of Rp 39,119 in the city’s traditional markets.
Aside from shallots, the prices of beef, rice and sugar also increased significantly in the days leading up to Ramadhan.
The KPPU in cooperation with the National Police was set to investigate the possible cartel practices behind the surging prices, Syarkawi said. ( dan )
Source | Jakarta Post | June 7, 2016 | Dewanti A. Wardhani