"According to the Presidential Regulation 48/2016, the mandate to stabilize the price and to strengthen the government`s rice stock lies in Bulog`s hand. It is clear, and there are no other parties," the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said here on Monday.
The Presidential regulation has stipulated that Bulog could import rice in order to ensure food adequacy and to stabilize rice price at the consumer as well as producer level.
"Rice import that had been planned under the trade minister decree was stopped, and the government has shifted the authority to Bulog under Presidential Regulation 48/2016," Darmin remarked.
The minister called on Bulog to carry out its task as soon as possible.
"We will allow Bulog to carry out the import process. For your information, we will need 20 ships to deliver 500 thousand tons of rice. It cannot be made in one delivery, but it should be done gradually by mid-February at the latest. If the prices would not decline, then we will continue it until the end of February," he elaborated.
Meanwhile, President Director of Bulog, Djarot Kusumayakti, noted that the agency would run the import process properly, from early administration process to its delivery.
"Bulog will try to reach the target of import volume, time, and price in accordance with its standard," he stated.
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita revealed that the imported rice would be used as food reserves, and the ministry would speed up the administration process for the import.
"We will speed up the process but still adhere to the regulation. Therefore, we should not be worried about rice stock," he pointed out.
Reported by Calvin Basuki
EDITED BY INE/H-YH