Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Home Affairs urged regional governments to optimize the utilization of the regional budget (APBD) and mitigate risks to control inflation and stabilize food supplies and prices.

"First, regional governments must optimize APBD for inflation control and SPHP (Food Supply and Price Stabilization). Inflation control and SPHP will not run effectively without the support of sufficient budget," the acting secretary of the ministry's inspectorate general, Ahmad Husin Tambunan, stated.

He made the statement at the SPHP Awards event held in Badung, Bali, on Friday (September 15) night.

To this end, the ministry urged regional governments to allocate sufficient budget for taking concrete action against food problems, such as cheap market operation, cooperation with food producer regions, maintaining smooth supply, implementing the planting movement, and ensuring the transportation aspect.

Tambunan, who represented Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian at the event, noted that regional governments can use unexpected spending budgets to control inflation and stabilize food supplies and prices if the budget is insufficient.

Meanwhile, the second step is to mitigate risks, such as the long dry season caused by the El Nino phenomenon.

Thus, he said, Minister Karnavian had called on regional governments to coordinate with the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) in maintaining food availability to face El Nino, ready water reserves or build water dams, and order sub-district heads and village heads to report on the condition of areas experiencing drought technically.

Lastly, the ministry encouraged all relevant parties of food security to jointly show the best capability in handling inflation.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has called on regional governments to control volatile commodities.

Tambunan noted that those commodities are rice, garlic, broiler chicken meat, and chicken eggs. Of the four commodities, the price of rice is still not yet stable, so it has become a main priority.

On that occasion, he also drew attention to President Joko Widodo's directions to tackle this issue, including monitoring rice availability and prices and integrating stock data.

Translator: Ni Putu Putri, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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