Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The food task force of Yogyakarta Province has intensified monitoring against the hoarding of staple commodities, which could trigger scarcity of food and push up prices ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The monitoring has involved the inspection of food warehouses spread across the province, deputy head of the task force, Sarwendo, informed here on Tuesday.

According to him, the monitoring, which has been carried out since November, is targeted at mills, distributors, and agents of basic commodities, and is being conducted jointly with the Yogyakarta Regional Inflation Control Team (TPID).

"Since November 2022, we, together with TPID, have carried out monitoring, including two weeks ago, we intensively monitored (traditional) markets," he said.

He informed that so far, the task force has not found any indications of hoarding. Thus, the stocks are still safe to meet the needs of the community ahead of the year-end holidays.

Sarwendo said that earlier he had encountered excess stocks at one soybean and cooking oil warehouse owned by several distributors in Yogyakarta. However, upon investigation, the excess stock was found to have resulted from the limited fleet available to distribute it to consumers.

The task force deputy head emphasized that hoarders of staple commodities that cause scarcity and price increases can be imprisoned for up to five years.

Head of the Administration Bureau for Economy and Natural Resources of the Regional Secretariat of Yogyakarta, Yuna Pancawati, claimed that, in general, food supplies are still safe and available ahead of Christmas and New Year.

She noted that even though there has been a rise in the prices of several commodities, the increase has not been significant.

According to Pancawati, the increase in prices that occurred recently was caused by the distribution of regular social assistance and the Non-Cash Food Assistance (BPNT) program.

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Translator: Luqman Hakim, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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