Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government would import 500 thousand tons of rice to increase domestic stock, in a bid to curb rice price increase in local markets.
"We will import 500 thousand tons of special rice, from Vietnam and Thailand," Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita told the press after a meeting with rice distributors and retailers association here on late Thursday.
He said, the import would be handled by state-run trading firm PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia (Persero), to allow the government to control the commoditys price.
The minister said the imported rice will arrive by the end of January to cover the limited supply until harvesting period in February-March.
"By the end of the month (January) the imported rice will enter the market. We prepare the imported rice supply, and in February (the price) could return to normal," he continued.
Enggartiasto admitted that the staple food price has been under control but not yet stable, and it has stood above the ceiling price.
The government has put the imported rice into the category of special rice, which were not cultivated by local farmers.
He said, the government would buy the special rice at any price and sell them at the ceiling price of Rp9,450 per kg.
"The rice quality in accordance to the ministerial regulation no. 1/2018 is special rice category that we could import directly. No matter how much is the import price, but we will sell them at medium price," he said.
According to the minister, all parties should not add to the controversy on the cause of the price volatility, and focus more on the attempt to meet demand of rice.
"If we are busy of looking for the cause, we will forget to solve the problem of public necessities," he said.
Source: ANTARA News