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Jakarta Post

Govt to tighten rules on minimarkets, protect small kiosks

  • Linda Yulisman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 20, 2015   /  09:42 am

The government is considering issuing a regulation that would include a zoning scheme for minimarkets to ensure that their presence does not harm traditional kiosks.

The new regulation would prevent minimarket operators from opening outlets too close to each other, according to Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel.

A high concentration of minimarkets in one area may create tight price competition to attract buyers, which would negatively affect kiosks.

'€œWe hope minimarkets help kiosk owners with regard to financial and goods management so the small kiosks can grow,'€ the minister said on Friday.

Currently, people can easily find an Indomaret outlet next to an Alfamart. Minimarket operators do not only open outlets in busy areas next to main roads but also operate the modern marts in residential areas, raising concerns that their high presence will affect traditional kiosks.

Aside from introducing the zoning scheme, the government would also tighten the issuance of minimarket permits. Before a permit is issued, location checks would be required. The government was also mulling whether minimarkets should be allowed to operate 24 hours a day, Rachmat added.

In line with these measures, the government, particularly regional administrations, would also halt the operations of minimarkets without permits, he added.

Businesspeople currently only need to secure modern market business permits, building permits and franchising licenses, among others, to open a minimarket.

The Trade Ministry'€™s plan was revealed following a meeting between Minister Rachmat and the newly appointed Deputy Jakarta Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat on the issue.

Djarot earlier said he aimed to reimpose a moratorium on the issuance of minimarket permits in the capital. The moratorium was first enacted in 2006 through a gubernatorial decree, but was revoked in 2012.

Many minimarket operators do not comply with a Jakarta bylaw that stipulates they must offer 10 percent of their space to street vendors or other non-formal businesses.

In fact, only a few of minimarkets comply with the rule and this has become a cause for concern for the committee for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), cooperatives and agribusinesses at the Jakarta Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The deputy governor said he planned to evaluate the permits of existing minimarkets and wanted all minimarkets in the capital to free some space for small and medium businesses.

As many as 2,254 minimarkets were in operation in Jakarta last year, according to the Jakarta administration'€™s economic bureau.

Association of Indonesian Retailers (Aprindo) executive director Tutum Rahanta questioned the plan to apply a zoning scheme and restrict the operational hours of minimarkets.

He said minimarkets had complied with the spatial plans (RT/RW) issued by regional administrations.

'€œThis issue must be raised with the regional administrations because they understand how much space can be allocated for commercial purposes,'€ Tutum said.

He further said minimarkets were operating 24 hours a day to meet the demands of customers.

Similar to the spatial plan, this issue should be addressed by the regional administrations.

Tutum said the planned regulation should be assessed thoroughly before being implemented.

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