Plan of the ministry of trade to assign the national logistics agency (Bulog) to import beef from Australia and New Zealand should first be clarified to the House of Representatives. This is to stabilize prices of meat and domestic demand ahead of the fasting month and lebaran. Member of House of Representatives commission VI, Abdul Kadir Karding, said that before the month of Ramadhan until lebaran, meat demand normally increases.
Before the government makes the decision, the ministry of trade and bulog should firstly clarify to the House of Representatives (Parliament). It is admitted that meat demand and meat prices are likely to increase recently. Parliament wants to know why the government adopts meat import policy. He told reporters at the parliament House on Monday (5/20).
Regulation on the exemption of beef import is only intended for catering, hotel, and industry. Commission VI has not taken a stance on this. There are complexities that must be solved behind the meat import policy. There are a lot of game and meat import mafia that must be cleaned.
To stabilize prices, we need to find out about the games played by companies, hoarding, and pricing games. Meat price are highly dependent on the game which be used to be called “import mafia”. This issue should be investigated by the ministry of trade and legal apparatus.
According to Kadir, the one who is authorized to implement meat import policy is the ministry of trade. While, bulog and the ministry of Agriculture only propose import material which is a domestic demand. But, in reality, the role of the ministry of trade is limited to administration alone.
The government assigns bulog to import beef from Australia and New Zealand as much as 3,000 tons to stabilize prices of meat in the country. Member of House of Representatives commission VI, Atte Sugandi, said that the decision was made to indicate that meat supply in the country fails to meet demand. High price of beef that has been going on for a quite long time also indicates that there is an imbalance between supply and demand. To balance the supply and demand of beef so that beef price can be lowered, there should be an additional supply of beef to the market. Relying on additional supply of domestic beef seems unlikely, so we need additional supply of beef from import.
To get an explanation from the government about the plan to import meat approaching the fasting month and lebaran, commission VI and commission IV of the House of Representatives is likely to hold a meeting with the ministry of trade and bulog. Ahead of the fasting month and lebaran, meat price should to stable, because meat demand usually increases. Most people who do not eat meat on a normally day, consume meat during the fasting month and lebaran. However, Atte proposed that the trade system of meat must be addressed, because there are still weaknesses in meat trade system, such as differences in the data between the national bureau of statistics (BPS) and the ministry of agriculture. Differences in the data lead to the policy taken by the government in an effort to regulate meat trade system to be inappropriate and ineffective. (E)
Business News - May 24,2013