Saturday, December 13, 2008

Import restriction postponed

Kompas today (13/12/2008) reports that the government has decided to postpone import restrictions on garment, footwear, electronics, toys, food and beverages. Kudos to government. The same newspaper has information on the shrinking capacity in those sectors. What is not written is that means the ability of domestic industries to supply such commodities has decreased quite significantly. As the supply can not match the demand (again, the commodities are basic), the prices will shoot up. Unless you allow for importation. (In fact even if you do not allow it, they will come illegally. So why not just let them in and get some reasonable duties?) What the government does is commendable.

Of course local businesses condemn it. They say the government is inconsistent, as the regulation for import restriction was issued October 31 and to be effective Dec 15. But they postpone it. I can easily imagine that their complaint would be totally different had the government never issued such restriction. After all, what they want is protection from competition.

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