The government has issued an import permit for state-owned salt producer PT Garam to import 75,000 tons of raw salt material from Australia. The salt will enter Indonesia through three ports on Aug. 10.
"In 2016, we allocated 226,000 tons of salt imports, so we still have room. When the harvest returns to normal, we will stop importing," the Trade Ministry's foreign trade director general, Oke Nurwan, said in Jakarta on Friday.
He further said that the government would decide the price of table salt in the retailer market next week.
The ministry hopes that after the import is realized in August, the domestic supply of salt will gradually return to normal.
The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s director general for territorial sea management, Brahmantya Satyamurti, said the amount of domestic salt production was currently far from the normal production of 166,000 tons a month.
“From May to July, salt farmers only managed to produce 6,200 tons, which is far from normal,” he said.
The Trade Ministry has ensured that salt distribution in the market will be tightly monitored by a food stability task force, which includes personnel from the police, the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry.
Salt imports are regulated under the Law No. 7/2016 on the protection and empowerment of fishermen, fishers and salt farmers. It stipulates that import permits issued to PT Garam by the Trade Ministry requires a recommendation letter from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry. (dis/ags)