Jokowi wants essentials to be available at reasonable prices

Jokowi wants essentials to be available at reasonable prices

Farmers place unhusked rice into sacks in Kolaka District, Southeast Sulawesi. ANTARA PHOTO/Jojon/wsj/sh

We have to pay serious attention to this to ensure affordable prices of items for the public and no price hikes
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has instructed the Ministry of Trade and related institutions to ensure that basic necessities are available to the people at affordable prices.

"The price of rice has increased slightly. The price of sugar did not show any change or slightly increased to Rp19 thousand per kg, though the prices of onion and garlic had yet to decline. I do not know whether the Trade Ministry has inspected the situation on the field pertaining to whether it (the price) has yet to decline," President Jokowi remarked at the opening of a virtual limited meeting at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Jokowi has urged his aides to maintain the prices of basic necessities ahead of the Ramadhan fasting month and regularly check the pricing in the market.

"We have to pay serious attention to this to ensure affordable prices of items for the public and no price hikes," he remarked.

As of the second week of April, the prices of some commodities, including beef, chili, red chili, shallot, garlic, and sugar, had risen, while the price of chicken had declined.

It came as a surprise to Jokowi that the rice price had yet to decline despite the lower price of dried unhusked rice. He expressed doubt over the unusual chart of trading that would be disadvantageous to the people and farmers.

"I saw that on the field, the price of dried unhusked rice had declined by five percent, but the price of rice had increased by 0.4 percent. What has happened here? Please check this out on the field, for there must be some problems. The declining price of unhusked rice should be followed by a lower price of rice."

"In the face of the current situation, farmers will not be able to derive profits with the increased price of rice. However, surely, it has harmed the public. Find those who have grabbed the benefits," President Jokowi remarked. Related news: President bans "mudik" for citizens to contain COVID-19 spread
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