Thu, 11 Aug 1994

Councilors urge building owners to train small-scale traders

JAKARTA (JP): City councilors are urging Jakarta high-rise management firms to provide small-scale traders with space for their businesses and training to help them improve their competitive edge.

"We want you all to do more than just give them space," said Joko Suwindi, a member of the City Council's Commission B on economic affairs.

Joko made the announcement on Tuesday during an inspection at Gajahmada Plaza, a major shopping-cum-office building managed by PT Artabuana Sakti, a private company, on Jl. Hayam Wuruk in Central Jakarta.

Small-scale traders, Joko said, need more training on marketing to become more competitive.

Members of the council's commission and city officials visited the shopping and business center to observe the implementation of a 1983 Gubernatorial Decree which requires the managers of skyscrapers to allocate 20 percent of their commercial space for small-scale traders.

Arif P., a spokesman for PT Artabuana, said that the company allocated less than the required 20 percent of its commercial space for small-scale traders but compensated for this by paying fees of around Rp 142 million (US$65,440) to the city administration in 1982.

Owners of tall buildings can pay compensation money to the city administration or build other projects for small-scale traders in other areas if they don't allocate the 20 percent stipulated by the decree.

The developer of Citraland Mall in Grogol, West Jakarta, for instance, built a marketplace for small-scale traders at the Citra Garden housing complex, said Eddy Sofyan Diat, the divisional head in charge of small-scale traders at the city administration.

He added that the final decisions regarding which traders qualified for space in major shopping centers was made by a team comprising officials from the mayoralty administration and the City Market Authority (PD Pasar Jaya).

In a related development Nasir Sabara, the subdivisional head in charge of economic affairs in the Central Jakarta mayoralty administration -- who also accompanied the councilors during the visit -- said that the mayor's office would gradually require all tall buildings in the mayoralty to accommodate the street vendors who operate in their surroundings.

Nasir said that, at present, his office is approaching owners of tall buildings on Jl. Gajah Mada and in the Pasar Baru shopping complex to persuade them to provide place for street vendors within their buildings' compounds.

Nasir said that at least 34 tall buildings along Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Jl. Thamrin and Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat have accommodated 300 street vendors since the mayoralty administration introduced the policy in 1993. (arf)