State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir has asked the members of the state-owned food holding company ID Food to ensure and monitor the supply of basic necessities ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
“We know that the demand for basic necessities will increase at the end of the year. Hence, SOEs must contribute to meeting people’s needs,” he said, according to a statement issued on Friday.
He made the remarks while reviewing the stocks and prices of basic commodities at Rasamala Market, Semarang city, Central Java province, on Friday with Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan.
He noted that the availability of basic commodities is still sufficient, including rice products supplied by the State Logistics Agency (Bulog).
Still, the SOEs Ministry will continue to coordinate with the Trade Ministry and local governments to anticipate a rise in the prices of commodities ahead of the year-end holiday season.
“Earlier, the trade minister said that the prices of onion, red chili, (and) tempeh were stable, while the price of chicken had decreased. However, (the prices of) some (commodities) had increased slightly, such as bird’s eye chilli and eggs,” the SOEs Minister noted.
SOEs also contribute to maintaining the stability of basic commodities’ prices since, as one-third of the nation’s economic power, corporations can balance market prices, such as by providing masks at a much cheaper price, he added.
He stated that the state-run enterprises are also ready to carry out cheap market operations in a number of areas in collaboration with local governments.
“Hence, it is the reason why I often emphasize that (the finances of) SOEs must be healthy. Thus, when (the commodity) prices increase, SOEs can contribute to intervening in the market to assist the community to get basic commodities at more affordable prices,” Thohir explained.
If the SOEs’ finances are not healthy, they cannot participate as much in market interventions to help the people, he added.
Source: Antara News