Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA) - The East Java provincial government is carrying out market operations to check an increasing trend in rice prices, which has invited complaints from residents of several districts and cities in the province.

The provincial government has cooperated with district and city governments and the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) to carry out cheap market operations from Saturday, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said.

"In the market operations, medium (quality) rice is being sold cheaply at Rp 9,200 per kilogram or Rp46 thousand for 5 kilograms packaged medium (quality) rice," she informed while monitoring the market operations at Pucang Anom Market here on Saturday.

According to her, medium-quality rice is being sold at a rate below its price ceiling of Rp9,450 per kilogram during the market operations.

In the past few days, the price of medium-quality rice has surged to Rp13 thousand per kilogram. Meanwhile, the price of a 5-kilogram package of the rice has reached a range of Rp65 thousand to Rp70 thousand.

"We hope the market operations will strengthen people's purchasing power again, including increasing rice stocks in markets," the governor said.

According to Parwansa, the market operations will continue to be held with related parties such as Bulog, the East Java Rice Millers' Association (Perpadi), as well as rice distributors’ and traders’ associations until people's rice needs are met at a price that is in accordance with the price ceiling.

She expressed the hope that regular market operations will bring rice prices under control in February and allow rice stocks to be distributed properly to the community.

According to regional head of the East Java Regional Office of Bulog, Ermin Tora, the rice stocks in the province are sufficient to meet the needs of the residents.

"So far, Bulog has supplied rice to 100 markets in East Java with a total of 20 thousand tons of rice. This supply will continue to be made in order to meet people's needs," he added.

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Translator: Abdul H, Hanif N, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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