By: Ahmad Dzul Ilmi Muis)*
The government continues to increase supervision of food stocks during Ramadan to prevent shortages and uncontrollable price spikes. The public is also advised not to panic buy and shop as needed.
The government continues to maintain price stability for various supplies of food needs through maintaining food stocks. This is mainly done now that we are in the holy month of Ramadan, so it is necessary to ensure that the availability of food in the market is maintained. Do not let there be violations that occur in the realm of food distribution, whether from producers or distributors.
Therefore, the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) continues to monitor it because it was found that there were potential business competition violations committed when many commodity prices continued to increase entering Ramadan until the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr 1443 Hijri later. It was said directly by Dini Melanie as Commissioner of KPPU that her party would conduct monitoring to several related parties.
This monitoring will continue to be carried out, especially on the behavior of producers and distributors. The main purpose of this monitoring is to prevent any party from deliberately reducing the supply of basic needs when prices are currently rising. Because if that happens, then of course it will be very detrimental to many parties.
KPPU is concerned that the increase in commodities and the scarcity of some stock of goods will trigger unhealthy competition among business owners. Some of the ways that business owners can do to conduct unfair competition are that they deliberately do not maximize their import permits. This is done so that the stock of some goods is restrained so that the stability between supply and demand is disrupted and the price will soar.
When market demand greatly increases but the availability of food stocks is running low, it is not impossible that the prices on the market will be regulated by the producers and importers as they please. Then on the other hand, the violations that are usually found on the part of distributors are when they repackage some food products so that they can be resold at a higher price.
An example of a real case that occurred was in bulk cooking oil commodities, which turned out to be some rogue distributors who deliberately repackaged and made it look like packaged cooking oil, which then of course the selling price will be higher and they can get profits. In addition, distributors can also commit other frauds by deliberately holding back supply when price fluctuations are occurring so that they can sell it at the highest price.
Monitoring and evaluation of food supply continues to be carried out by the Government. Of course, the aim is to ensure that the availability of food remains safe for the community until Eid al-Fitr later. On one occasion, Vice President K. H. Ma’ruf Amin stated that it was very important for all parties to be able to work together to strengthen national food security. Because good food security will only be achieved if all parties can work together well too.
The role of the Ministry of Agriculture to continue to maintain and even increase the productivity of some foodstuffs, such as rice so that we no longer rely on imports of medium rice, even since the last 2 years has become one of the proofs of the Government’s success in continuing to strive for guaranteed food stocks. Efforts to maintain productivity must also continue to be improved in order to create price stability that makes farmers themselves and consumers comfortable.
Synergy from various parties is indeed very important in terms of maintaining the availability of food stocks during Ramadan until Eid al-Fitr later. Because when food stocks can be maintained, it will also affect price stability as well. Therefore, starting from importers, producers, distributors, to farmers in the field, we must support each other together. On the other hand, supervisory institutions such as the KPPU will also continue to supervise them to ensure that there is no fraud.
)* The author is an alumni of Unair