Minggu, 17 Mei 2015

Upgrading Traditional Market (Pasar Santa) in Jakarta: Impacts to the Poor

Indonesian government revitalizes traditional market as one of poverty reduction policies since traditional market in Indonesia has been a place for small-scale retailing. Goldman says (as cited in Gorton et al. 2011, 1624) it can be seen as poor’s opportunity in employment are with low barriers. It is emphasized by The National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) as one of the policy as an instrument in acceleration, that is small and microentreprises targeted poverty alleviation programmes (TNP2K 2015). Therefore, traditional market is one of alternatives for the poor as a place to start up their microentreprises.
Modern markets said as one of the causes of the falling down number of sellers in traditional market by IKAPPI (MA 2014). Therefore, policy is needed to response the spreading of modern markets. It is in line with Reardon et al (2007, 401) arguments that say supermarkets—as one of modern markets—correlate to supportive institutional and policy environment. Need to note that in this context, revitalisation tends to be understood as renovate the physical building, even there are some efforts on improving structure and maintenance of the market.
This essay questions the impacts of the policy for the poor that is aimed to empower small-scale retailers and make them qualified competitor of modern market. To see that, Pasar Santa can be an example as one of traditional market that had revitalized in 2007. It is located in the central of Jakata from 1970s, really close to existing business centre and it is in elite housing area.
After the renovation, there is a question about who benefits the renovation and how it gives any impact to the poor to be empowered and competitive to modern market. This essay focuses on the affects of poverty alleviation for the poor by, firstly, looking into policies that relate to Pasar Santa as microentreprises. Secondly, it explores more on the economic, socio-cultural, and political impacts to the poor that caused by the upgrading traditional market policies. Lastly, it concludes the analysis by seeing the stakeholders, consequences to the poor as the target, and positive impact.

Empowering the Poor by Microentreprises
Microentreprises has been one of the options of poverty reduction as stated by Rogaly in Mosley and Hulme (1998, 783). It could encourage poor to be self-sufficient and at the same time also implies a support to free market (Mosley and Hulme 1998, 783). To support it, government often establishes policies, even those also can be so bias because policies itself can disadvantages poor (Chen 2007, 6). Policies over microentreprises have been a discussion, particularly financial support and financial institution to encourage microenterprises. For instance, Mosley and Hulme in the same article discuss microcredit. It is important, but increasing of big capital in the same market cannot be neglected.
Modern markets that labeled as big capital entreprises are seen as competitors to traditional market since the market of traditional market has taken to 2% according to Natawidjaja et al (2006, 7). Therefore, Indonesia established some policies to support microenterprises, not only for microcredit, but also for upgrading traditional market that have been a place for microentreprises. Indeed, traditional market in Jakarta seems dirty, dark, and muddy place just like Pasar Santa had been, so that renovate the building is considered as the first step. Since 2007, Jakarta government decided to revitalise traditional markets to be potential competitor to modern. It is based on assumption that to be competitive, traditional market should has condition that look alike modern market which is clean, tiles-flooring, strong building, and bright lighting. In applying the policy, Jakarta government also allows the Local-Owned Entreprises (BUMD) who has the responsibility to take care traditional market to cooperate with private sector in doing renovation and maintenance, and management.
The upgrading also aimed to give a place for street vendors. Jakarta government provides 20% from total space in Pasar Santa for street vendors as mentioned in Berita Jakarta (Sandiputra. 2015). They can have a space for free in six months, excluding electricity and cleaning service cost, as long as they present every day. After that, they can have an official space in traditional market with rent payment monthly. A street vendor that has mentioned in same article expresses his considerations to not move to Pasar Santa. He says that monthly rent is more expensive and it is uneasy for elder like him to take care of the entreprises since it is on the second floor and he has to go through the staircase. This policy also should be questioned from gender equality point of view. Since it requires presence every day for six months, female street vendor who is pregnant will get less opportunity due to giving birth. It brings the attention to be careful of male-bread winner bias in this policy as mentioned by Elson (2000, 1355). Therefore, the motivation of these policies are questioned; it could be to reduce poverty and/or the poor is considered as potential tax and retribution payers.

Impacts of Upgrading to the “Pre-existing Residents of Pasar Santa”
After renovated, Pasar Santa experienced no significant improvement as written in Berita Jakarta (Sandiputra 2014), nevertheless some of former sellers still survive. Seven years after renovation, the almost desperate condition is seen as an opportunity by youth middle-class. They start their entreprises by renting a space and sell middle-class youth’s interests, for instance coffee and music vinyl and attract more middle class to do the same. By social media marketing and social networks they have, Pasar Santa has been famous and successfully made many people come there everyday.
The upgrading policy refers to informal economy. As Chen (2007, 2-5) says, informal economy should be seen from new perspective and Chen gives four perspectives to differ from formal economy, that is significance and permanence, continuum of economic relations, segmentation, and legality or semi-legality. Looking at those characteristics, pre-existing sellers and newly comers can be seen as informal economy. Beside the attractiveness as an alternative, the impact to microentrepreneurs should be questioned. This essay shows the impacts on economic, socio-cultural, and political perspectives.

Negatively Affected to Some Poor
Looking at Jakarta Regulation Number 3 Year 2009 about Maintenance of (Traditional) Market Area (Ministry of Law and Human Rights 2009), the upgrading policy is not aimed for the poor because one person can have maximum five kiosks. It is even uneasy for the poor to survive with rent payment for one kiosk. As Berner et al (2012) say, the outcome of survival entreprises is not an exit from poverty, but to survive in daily crises and to expand the capability of their children. Therefore, it needs to be questioned who gets the benefits of upgrading traditional market. Traditional market might be not for the poorest, but at least it should be for the poor. It is in line with Mosley and Hulme (1998, 1) says that microenterprises is claimed to be help the poorest, though most of the time it does not seem so.
As mention before, the upgrading attracts youth middle class to start their entreprises as well, so that there is an increase on number of visitors. Since the interest in Pasar Santa has been rising rapidly, it emerges the response of increasing the rate of kiosks rent. The kiosks are owned by PD Pasar Jaya—the local government company—and developer from private sector as a part of the policy that private sector can contribute in upgrading traditional market. The kiosks can be owned with credit until 20 years and also can be rent directly from the developer. Knowing the rising interest, the owner and developer raising the rate until 300% as mentioned in online news (Rudi 2015). It seems not a problem for middle-class because they can afford it and also for people who own kiosk(s) because they can sell it and get a lot of profit. For people who have another income, it is not a matter as well. However, some of them keep their place as an investment as Prapto Suhardi said to Kompas (Rudi 2015). For sure, the poor cannot afford the rent cost and their space as the only opportunity to livelihood has threatened.
Even Pasar Santa almost always full of visitors, they tend to choose consume and buy things and using service from the middle-class communities in the second floor. The characteristic of customers also have been shifting; they tend to come for a cup of coffee and gather with their friends, instead of doing their groceries as traditional market used to be. First floor and basement floor are mostly only operated in the morning and the visitors are household assistances to do groceries. Another story is coming from one elderly who sell reading-glasses that is written in online forum and has been viral.[1] She lives in the kiosk with her husband and said that she does not get any increase since the renovation. 
Surely, some of the pre-existing sellers have positive impact of upgrading policy because some of the culinary entreprises in second floor tries to buy ingredients from sellers downstairs. It should be appreciated as a reciprocal mutualism, but still it is not experienced by all of the sellers and the transactions are assumed not so many. The ready food vendors also can be competitor, thus they get positive impact. The upgrading policy also gives an impact in job creating, for instance parking-man, even it is not a lot. Customers tend to spend hours there and come by car, so that the parking space could not provide all customers cars. They have to park at side of the road and some people help them to park and ensure the cars are safe while they are hanging out in the traditional market.

Loosing Space, Loosing Identity
The upgrading policy opens the opportunities for the poor and youth middle class in terms of social relations. They can learn and benefit from each other. Traditional market is not only a place for economic activities, but also for socio-cultural activities. It is in line with Achmad’s[2] statement in his research paper that traditional market offer social capital rather than modern market.
Being a loyal customer to this traditional market since 1970s, Gyanthi Mulyati, one of the interviewee[3], informs that it seems to be intergeneration sellers. Some of them still show familiar faces and some other are the children or relatives from pre-existing sellers. Hence, most of them are new faces. Not only that, gender dimension is also shown. The vegetable, fruits, and chickens sellers are dominated by women and meat, fish, and electricity are dominated by men. It indicates that market as gender-neutral bias.
Doing transactions, poor entrepreneurs tend to allow bargaining, so that communication is maintained over time. For loyal customer, they are also allowed to pay later, even it is not too long, usually the payment is asked three or four days after.[4] Not only that, the communication among sellers also well maintained because they are present in Pasar Santa everyday. They start the day early in the morning to collect their products and usually they will share the transportation cost. Moreover, some of them will stay quietly in the market, so they do not have to pay the bed or house rent.
Former sellers that offer daily products have kiosks in the basement and first floor and most of them do not have any rolling door. Their kiosks are only tables and chairs. Therefore, before it was crowded, they used to sleep in the second floor because the have rolling door. Since all of the kiosks in the second level are occupied, they loose their place to live in, even illegal. They have to pay the rent to live in another place now.
When they are working, they like to hear music and they have different tastes and preferences than newly sellers on the second floor. Since people in the second floor have big speaker, so they can listen to the music loudly. Not only that, there are some music events on the second floor. Therefore, the poor who live there experience high level of noisiness and have to struggle in their living space without any improvement in their economic activities. Another different preference is also seen by the way they clothe. Since Pasar Santa is dominated by middle class customers, they usually come in youth middle class style and seems different to former sellers. Now, the youth from former sellers has been influenced by the style of the customer and sellers from the second floor as mentioned by Maryam Rodja, one of the interviewee.[5]

Ladder to Political Participation
Upgrading traditional market opens the space for middle class, thus they have more interests in traditional market in terms of economy and socio-cultural terms. As Achmad[6] mentions that traditional market mostly is visited by household assistances from middle class. However, it has changed, traditional market become middle class’ alternative of public space too. Therefore, when issue of raising the rent rate is raised, pre-existing sellers who mostly are survival and growth entrepreneurs and newly sellers who mostly are youth middle class are becoming one entity to fight back the developer as an opponent and give pressure to the Jakarta government to have a protection policy for them.
Since newly sellers have more access to political elites, not to mention they also have social networks that can help to spread the pressure, they try to protect the former sellers from increasing rent rate by doing petition and meeting some stake holders. It can be seen as a mediation to bargain the position of pre-existing sellers’ position. The poor do not have strong political position, thus the existence of newly sellers help them to be heard. Their social capital, including social networks, have significant effect in raising the issue in media, so that gets stakeholder’s attention. It is in line with Wit and Berner (2009) say that the poor is less active to encourage the collective action since they have to invest their time and energy to get uncertain thing, in assumption their bargain position is weak. Newly sellers can be seen as the ladder of political participation for the poor. It can be said as cross class alliance. Besides that, this ladder also can be seen as an opportunity for female sellers to participate in political area and this is in line to Argawal’s statement (1997, 29) that women can improve their bargaining position in household and public space when they involve in economy activity.
Even so, there are some questions remain. If the poor have access like middle class, do Jakarta government still has political will to hear them? Is it because the issue has raised by middle class that considered as engine of growth? Another question is whose empowered by doing this alliance? The petition itself might show that on behalf of the poor, they demand for a unchanging rent rate, hence it is for their own interest.

Policy of Jakarta Government in terms of poverty alleviation is in line with macroeconomic policy that seems using neoliberal approaches. Upgrading traditional market that is known as poor space is aimed to encourage the poor to improve their life quality by increasing income. It is strengthen by including private sector in upgrading Pasar Santa. The policy shows that government really supports free market and reduce the role of the state. The policy’s assumption is being a competitor of modern market means having a modern place, regardless the quality of products and marketing. It is also not supported by applicable zonation as protection too to traditional market. However, inequality has not been a focus on this policy, thus they are still remain.
The upgrading has not affected the poor because not all of them experience improvement in their economy transaction after the upgrading. Increase on number of visitors is not affected to all of the poor since the visitors tend to buy and consume in newly sellers who most of them are middle class. The effort to synergy the trade between pre-existing sellers and newly sellers should be appreciated, though it is not an exit door to diminish the gap. The sellers who do not offer products that needed by them are excluded. To be in a part of exchange transactions, the product should be adjusted. It is demand-driven, instead of supply-driven. Although, some pre-existing entrepreneurs experience improvement because of their adjustment, personal relations to newly sellers and visitors, also supported by their products.
The existence of upgrading policy impacts on emergence of inequality among informal economy with different motivation. Newly sellers tend to have more capital and savety nets, though the microentreprises tend to be pre-existing sellers’ livelihood. Their spaces to live are also threaten; the space to survive from daily crises and also the space to spend the whole night. It is caused by the raising of kiosks rent rate. Moreover, this policy application shows that the poor do not have strong bargaining position in participating the political arena in terms of their interests. They do not have any access and they are seen as a group that does not have any power to be engine of growth. In this context, the middle class can be seen as their ladder to participation. Although, it should be questioned who get more benefit from this upgrading traditional market policy.
Looking to gender dimension, women from pre-existing entrepreneurs tend to sell daily needs and ingredients, therefore their economic is improved since upgrading policy implemented. Surely, it depends on the products as well according to the statement of one woman elder who sells reading glasses that said her business has no improvement. However, the tendency of division of products that are offered by women and men could get more attention. Do women tend to sell daily needs (vegetables, fruits, ingredients, and chicken) because it has strong connection to domestic area as women assumed as an expert on it, so people will trust them more when buying the products? Do men tend to sell meat because it requires a strong energy and men are constructed to be strong and women not? It will be a clear analysis if supported by the data that still absent. Gender relations among newly sellers also can get an attention as well to deepen the argumentation of market as gender-neutral bias.

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Berner, E., G. Gomez and P. Knorringa (2012) 'Helping a Large Number of People Become a Little Less Poor: The Logic of Survival Entrepreneurs', The European journal of development research 24(3): 382-396.
Chen, M.A. (2007) 'Rethinking the Informal Economy: Linkages with the Formal Economy and the Formal Regulatory Environment', DESA Working Paper, No. 46. New York: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
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MA (Last updated 2014) 'Jumlah Pasar Tradisional Menyusut'. Accessed March, 18 2015 .
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Rudi, A. (Last updated 2015) 'Semakin Diminati, Harga Kios Di Pasar Santa Melonjak Drastis' (a webpage of Kompas.com). Accessed March, 10 2015 .
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[1] http://www.kaskus.co.id/thread/54e9a046bfcb1714658b4570/?ref=postlist-570&med=hot_thread
[2] Achmad, Ridwansyah Yusuf (2013) ‘Nuancing the Revolution: Learning about Factors that Slow Down the Diffusion of Supermarkets in Indonesia’, ISS Research Paper. The Hague: ISS.  
[3] Interview with Gyanthie Mulyati was held on Monday, 16 March 2015 via Whatsapp.
[4] Interview with Gyanthie Mulyati was held on Monday, 16 March 2015 via Whatsapp.
[5] Interview with Maryam Rodja was held on Monday, 16 March 2015 via Whatsapp.
[6] Achmad, Ridwansyah Yusuf (2013) ‘Nuancing the Revolution: Learning about Factors that Slow Down the Diffusion of Supermarkets in Indonesia’, ISS Research Paper. The Hague: ISS.  

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