Tuesday, 22 January, 2008 | 17:12 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The government is planning to give subsidies to tofu and tempe producers amounting to Rp1,000 per kilogram for two months. The aid is for alleviating the burden of micro- and small-scaled business . “If it’s approved, in terms of Rp1,000 per kilograms subsidy for one to two months, it will take about Rp200 billion ,” said Deputy Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Fishery Affairs, Bayu Krishnamurthi, Monday (21/1).
However, the subsidy must still be approved by the House of Representatives (DPR) as it is related to the State Budget. In addition, the government has not yet found any accountable mechanism for allocating the subsidy for this commodity. “Because the Indonesian Soybean Curd and Soybean Cake Central Cooperative and all its subordinates only cover 40 percent of the total tofu and tempe producers,” said Bayu.
He explained that so far there has not yet been any soybean import assignment to Bulog (State Logistics Agency) in order to stabilize the domestic price. “Bulog was just ordered to prepare itself in case there is a special assignment to balance the soybean market,” he said.
In addition to the task of soybean price stabilization which needs a subsidy fund allocation from the State Budget and discussions with the DPR, Bulog is also regarded as to adjust itself first before importing soybeans. The reason is Bulog has not imported soybeans for the last 10 years. “It takes at least six months to build a network.. In addition the soybean market is small,” he said.
Bayu said the Finance Minister Regulation No.1/2008 on Soybean Import Duty Exemption was issued on Monday (21/1). The government will reduce soybean import duty, from 10 percent to zero.