Jakarta: Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) Puan Maharani has asked the government to immediately control the soaring prices of basic necessities, especially cooking oil because it could add to the people's burden during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The prices of several basic needs, such as eggs, onions, and chili, remain unstable since the end of last year. Cooking oil remains expensive, even though the government has set a reference price at Rp. 14,000 per liter," Puan Maharani said in a statement here on Sunday.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had long asked his staff to control the prices of basic necessities. However, the prices remain high as of the second week of 2022.
"Relevant ministries and regional governments (Pemda) need to quickly implement the instruction of the President. Immediately control the prices of basic needs in order to ease the people's burden," she said.
The House Speaker urged the government to distribute subsidized cooking oil evenly to reduce the cooking oil price which is around Rp. 20,000 per liter at present.
She asked the government to carry out strict supervision because based on information from traders in traditional markets, the cooking oil prices from supply agents remain high.
The government should also prepare technical guidelines for local governments regarding the distribution of subsidized cooking oil to be sold at lower price.
"We also call on the regional governments to hold cooking oil operations at local markets in order to help the community, especially the lower middle class citizens whose economy has not been stable due to the COVID-19 pandemic," she said.