Surabaya (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan on Saturday sent 36 shipping containers carrying 640 thousand liters of affordably priced cooking oil in simple packaging to North Maluku.

"The cooking oil will be distributed to Morotai Islands district and Tidore Islands city, North Maluku," Hasan informed while sending off the shipment here on Saturday.

The shipped cooking oil has been packed in one-liter and five-liter packaging, he said.

More cooking oil will be shipped to North Maluku to ensure its price in the province is equal to the price in Java Island at Rp14 thousand (US$0.92), the minister informed.

"The cooking oil will be sold for Rp14 thousand for one-liter packaging, and it must not be sold beyond that price. This means merchants will purchase the cooking oil (at a price) lower than Rp14 thousand (for resale purposes)," he said.

The Rp14 thousand price has been printed on the packaging to ensure that merchants sell the cooking oil at the designated price, he added.

"You can see the Rp14 thousand price here," Hasan said while pointing to the price printed on a one-liter cooking oil packaging.

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He then reiterated the ministry's commitment to continuing to supply cooking oil for residents in remote areas and islands. He also expressed the hope that the cooking oil distribution program would help stabilize the price of the commodity.

While the ministry earlier distributed affordable cooking oil to Papua province, Hasan promised that more shipments will be arranged for other provinces.

"We have also scheduled (a cooking oil shipment) for East Java," he said.

Earlier, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said that his ministry is providing sea toll services to make shipping costs relatively economical and affordable so that the price of cooking oil, set by the government at Rp14 thousand per liter, can be maintained.

The establishment of the sea toll road is meant to ease the distribution of goods, which is expected to make commodity prices equitable throughout Indonesia, he added.

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Translator: Abdul Hakim, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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