The Jakarta Post
Lenggang Jakarta, a newly established commercial zone whose aim is to raise the tourist profile of the National Monument (Monas), will open soon, with vendors fretting over higher fees and restrictions on menu offerings.
The commercial zone is located in the IRTI parking lot at the southern end of the Monas compound.
'We are now applying the finishing touches,' Lenggang Jakarta manager Marjali said, adding the city had yet to confirm an opening date.
He said the zone, with a capacity for some 3,000 visitors and 339 vendors, was equipped with 800 seats and 200 tables, two multi-function pavilions, a performance ground, toilets and a musholla (Islamic prayer room).
Marjali said due to limited vendor space and the zone's aim of showcasing 56 traditional dishes from around the archipelago, a quota had been set to regulate the number of vendors selling certain foods.
Some vendors worried the regulation would negatively affect their businesses, as they may no longer be able to sell the food they were accustomed to selling. Selling rights are to be decided by a lottery system.
Siti Amelia, 35, for example, said she would have to sell rujak cingur (East Java salad with sliced cow's nose), instead of her speciality, ketoprak (Jakarta dish of fried tofu, vermicelli noodle, cut rice cakes and peanut sauce). Abira, another vendor, said he would have to sell soto Betawi (Jakarta styled soup) instead of ketoprak.
Vendors have also complained about high fees.
Siti said some 20 percent of her income would go to fees, 10 percent in taxes to the government and a daily retribution of Rp 4,000 (30 US cents) to the city administration.
'With the additional payments, I will probably have to raise the price of the dish from Rp 15,000 to around Rp 30,000. How can they [customers] afford it?'
A vendor who wished to be identified only as JN, however, said the payments were sensible, as management was providing cleanliness, security, water, electricity and free training on cooking, hospitality and e-money management. At Lenggang Jakarta, all transactions will be done electronically.
The establishment of the commercial area, financed with corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds from the Rekso Group, the maker of popular drink Teh Botol Sosro, was initiated last June by Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama. (rbk)