The Use of Sea Tolls Needs to Be Improved to Press Price Disparity

1_20200217-024847_1 ILLUSTRATION. Optimal utilization of sea tolls / maritime outlets is expected to guarantee the need for essential goods and important goods. ANTARA FOTO/Iggoy el Fitra/ama.

Date: 12 February 2020

KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Director-General of Domestic Trade at the Ministry of Trade Suhanto appealed to the Regional Government, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), operators, business operators, and all sea toll users to increasingly play a role in maximizing the utilization of sea tolls through maritime outlets in 2020.

"Optimal utilization of sea tolls/ maritime outlets is expected to guarantee the availability of essential goods and important goods and cut distribution costs to reduce price disparities in remote, outer and border areas; at the same time it is certainly used to encourage exports," explained Director General Suhanto in his press release, Tuesday (11/2).

Evaluation results indicate, although the reduction in price disparity has not yet been fully achieved, the maritime / toll road outlet activities have been able to maintain the availability of essential goods and important goods in the outer regions, especially in eastern Indonesia. Thus, high price fluctuations that often occur in disadvantaged, remote, outermost, and border areas can be avoided.

Suhanto revealed, based on evaluation reports from the region, the implementation of the sea toll was faced with several challenges, including ship routes that were not in accordance with the provisions stipulated by the Ministry of Transportation, limited loading and unloading equipment and labour at the port, as well as discrepancies in the type of goods transported with the provisions in force.

However, Suhanto is optimistic that optimizing the use of sea tolls can reduce price disparity. The local Trade Office reported, in 2019, the average price of essential goods and important goods in some regions had decreased in price compared to the price of goods transported via private vessels.

The highest decrease was achieved for chicken eggs (37.78%) and frozen chicken (33.33%) in Fakfak Regency; wheat flour (31.67%) in the Tanimbar Islands Regency; cooking oil (23.08%) in Sabu Raijua Regency; sugar (20%) in Southwest Maluku Regency, Asmat Regency, Mamberamo Raya Regency, Wakatobi Regency; Cement (19.44%) in Mamberamo Raya and Rice Districts (16.67%) in Alor Regency.

"Stakeholders of maritime tolls / maritime outlets are expected to continue to work together to improve and carry out trade activities in the sea tollway so that the purpose of the sea toll program can be achieved," said Suhanto.

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