Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has ordered the distribution of rice aid to 21.3 million beneficiary families for three months starting September.

He announced it during the 2023 National Inflation Control Coordination Meeting at the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.

"Each family will receive 10 kilograms of rice each month from September to November. This is similar to a market intervention," he stated.

He informed that the total quantity of rice provided for beneficiary families will be 210 thousand tons per month.

Currently, the government's rice reserve stock, which is managed by state-owned logistics company Bulog, is pegged at 1.6 million tons.

This quantity is considered sufficient to cover national needs.

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"Usually, Bulog has 1.2 million tons of rice in stock. Earlier, I asked Bulog's president director, Budi Waseso, and he said his company still has 1.6 million tons of rice in the warehouse. We will use this method to help control the price of rice," Jokowi said.

He also pointed out that the price of rice has continued to increase by around 5 to 6 percent above the normal price. Hence, efforts are needed to control inflation, such as through the distribution of food aid.

Jokowi also asked related stakeholders, such as Bulog and regional governments, to use their budgets to conduct market interventions if rice prices remain volatile.

He expressed hope that the efforts would help maintain the inflation rate and lower it to 2.5 percent by 2024.

"Do not let our inflation increase again because it will be a burden on society," he stressed.

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Translator: Mentari Dwi G, Resinta S
Editor: Anton Santoso
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