Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said the planned import of 100,000 tons of garlic was still awaiting permit issuance from the Ministry of Trade.

"We ordered it (the imported garlic), but we haven't (received permit yet); it should have been done last week," he said in Jakarta on Friday.

Darmin hoped that the permit would be issued soon because it was necessary to stabilize the price of garlic.

However, with regard to the duration of the import permit, Nasution said he was not too concerned because the price of garlic is currently not too high. Information on the National Strategic Food Price Information Center (PIHPS) revealed that the current price of medium-sized garlic was at an average of Rp32,900 per kilogram. Previously, the planned import of garlic by State Logistics Agency (Bulog) did not find favor with a number of economic observers and entrepreneurs.

One of their points of contention included the appointment of Bulog to carry out this task without any obligation to plant five percent of the volume of imports and import assignments that are perceived discriminatory against the private sector.

In addition, they believed that the limited funds available for this task would lead to Bulog selling import rights to other importers for a profit.

However, Bulog stated that it was ready to carry out the task of importing garlic by preparing a budget of around Rp500 billion.

Translator: Eliswan Azly
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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