Govt to set up salt monitoring team

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will soon set up a salt monitoring team by involving four ministries to ascertain the quantity of national salt needs, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli said.

"The salt monitoring team will be made up of four directors from ministries appointed and assigned to ascertain the quantity of national salt needs," he said here on Monday.

The four ministries are the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, the Trade Ministry, the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and the Industry Ministry, he said.

The team will also be assigned to check the quantity of domestic salt production and salt imports, and set salt prices based on inputs from the trade minister, he said.

"Let me take an example from rice. Since fifteen years ago Bulog (the national logistics board) has always wanted to import (rice). The Agriculture Ministry has always said salt production is enough. Admittedly, there are many interests in Indonesia so it is difficult to find the result related to the national needs and the result is always different from one to another," he said.

The difference has made it difficult for the government to decide whether or not to import the commodity, he said.

He said he will encourage the team to find accurate data so as to help domestic salt industry.

"Police will also get involved in it to monitor whether there is still problem impeding or harming (salt) industry," he said.(*)