Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel vowed here on Saturday to find a solution to ensure that small retailers in Bali’s tourism resorts can continue to sell beer despite the government ban.
“The decision to control the sale of alcoholic drinks will be implemented on April 16 and will not be postponed. Having heard what people want, especially in Bali, a solution will be found,” he said during a discussion at the office of the Regional Representatives Council.
The minister added that in the near future, his office would look into the regulation again to find a solution.
The trade minister’s regulation number 6 of 2015 stipulates that all minimarkets and retailers are not allowed to sell alcoholic drinks under Category A, which include drinks with alcohol content below five percent, including beer.
“This is a tourist region, but we will not change the regulation. However, we will seek to regulate the system,” Gobel affirmed.
With regard to finding a solution, the minister pointed out that he would issue a reference for the implementation of the regulation in which Bali’s interest will be accommodated.
“The regulation will be implemented, but we will issue a regulation as soon as possible to settle the (Bali) problem,” he remarked.
Gobel also gave his assurance that his office would send a letter to the Bali Regional Police Command to not conduct a sweep against the sale beer on the island, despite the ban coming into effect on April 16.
Moreover, a member of the Bali Regional Representatives Council, Arya Wedakarna, said that there would not be any postponement with regard to the trade minister’s regulation, but suggested that a letter or recommendation be issued to temporarily postpone its implementation in Bali.
Wedakarna added that the Bali Regional Representatives Council will also send a letter to that effect.
In addition, Wayan Suata, a tourism businessman, noted on the occasion that the government regulation banning the sale of beer would be a blow to thousands in the trade of selling beer in cool boxes on beaches, adding that the policy was against the economically-weak members of the community.
“If the ban on the sale of beer is implemented, thousands of people in Badung and Bali would lose their job because so far, they have depended on tourists for their livelihood,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile Alcohol Beverage Distributors Association (ADMA) of Bali have showed their rejection towards the Minister Regulation.
Bali ADMA survey result shows that 70 percent of the consumption of beer in Bali is by tourists.
Beer for tourist is already a way of life, especially while enjoying sunbathing on the beach, after surfing, snorkeling and so on. This sector absorbs around seven thousand small merchants in Bali.