Vania Novie Andini (Intern), Jakarta – The market traders at East Jakarta's Rawamangun Market voiced concern over unpredictable commodity prices that they believe are the direct effect of the rising prices of fuel.
"It's like we have spent this amount of money to shop for supplies and sales are this amount. But later on, shopping for supplies gets harder. We [spend more on supplies than what gets sold]. Prices are unstable so it's hard to make a profit on a daily basis," said one trader Walam (61) on September 13.
Walam said this situation affects both traders and consumers, especially after prices of subsidized fuel were increased by the government last week.
The same struggle was echoed by another trader, Romjana (46), who said that the number of consumers is dropping after the fuel price hike announcement. However, she is one of the traders who refuses to raise the prices of goods she sells as she does not want to burden consumers who also complain about struggling to provide food for their families.
"They are already finding it difficult to eat. We don't have the heart [to increase commodity prices] we are also not taking too much of a profit," said the trader.
Prices of basic needs began to be affected by the increase in fuel prices. Secretary of the Central Executive Board of the Indonesian Market Traders Association (DPP IKAPPI) Reynaldi Sarijowan urged the government to share in the burden of the increased distribution costs.
"The government must intervene in this distribution subsidy," he said, last September 5.
Reynaldi stated that there must be a price distribution subsidy so that the distribution burden is not only borne by producers or traders.