BANDUNG, unpas.ac.id – Recently, the phenomena of cooking oil scarcity and the increase of soybean prices having affected to the production of tahu and tempeh is catching much attention.
The rise of basic need prices has always become sensitive within the community. Besides, the main cause of these scarcity and high prices of the cooking oil has already been widely known of, and so has the increase of soybean price.
The price increase of cooking oil has even been expected since last year, followed by the increase of crude palm oil prices at the global market. However, since there was neither anticipative actions nor regulations, the scarcity and high price of these two basic needs have to be carried out by the community as consumers.
Responding to this phenomena, Economic Expert who is as well teacher at Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) Universitas Pasundan, Acuviarta Kartabi stated that the government has been inconsistent in arranging both short-term, middle-term and long-term plan.
It was conveyed on Live Talk Elshinta 89.4 FM bringing the theme “Minyak Goreng Langka, Siapa yang Bermain?” on Tuesday, 22 February 2022.
Acuviarta also said that the government should already have regulations and strategies when this kind of event reoccur. The result is that, government was considered unable to handling or shortening the period of both cooking oil scarcity and soybean high price.
“The price increase or commodity scarcity will reoccur, won’t it, but the government was inconsistent, so that it is late to take actions or regulations. These issues have actually been seen since 2021,” he said.
The delay in making policy for months, as he stated, was only taken in January 2022. The government should be able to take a firm stance like when there was a case of coal being stopped from being shipped overseas.
“Because the price has increased for quite a long time, the government should have treated it firmly, like the case of coal, which at that time disrupted electricity supply,” he explained.
According to him, the steps that are still helpful include carrying out market operations even though the numbers are small.
Regarding the spike in soybean prices, he said it was due to reduced supply to the domestic market and decreased production volume in producing countries.
“The government is still importing around 80 percent of soybeans. In the past, the government had promised to increase domestic production when there were disruptions in suppliers, such as Brazil or the United States,” explained Acuviarta.
He regretted the slow pace of the Ministry of Trade’s efforts and non-optimal policies. “There must be coordination between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade,” he continued.
At its peak, the scarcity of cooking oil and the increase in soybean prices have an impact on high inflation. Moreover, the government has implemented work from home (WFH) and mass layoffs occurred which led to a decline in purchasing power and public welfare.
The solution is that the government must ensure the highest retail price (lit. Harga Eceran Tertingg, HET) can be applied and a supply policy of 20 percent. Coupled with the policy of action from the food task force for those who hoard commodities at the distributor or producer level.
“If inflation is high while many people are affected, then that is not good either. Hopefully, a new variant of Omicron’s policy in the future can take its side with the people,” he hoped. (Reta)*