Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo called on regional governments to not hesitate in using the contingency budget to control the rate of inflation amid the hiking prices of rice.

While delivering his directives to all regional leaders in Indonesia at the State Palace, Jakarta, on Monday, Widodo highlighted that regions have the right to use the contingency budget, as regulated by a legal basis.

"There is a legal basis for the use of the contingency budget, so do not worry," Jokowi, as the president is known, told regional leaders.

He noted that the national average price of rice had increased by 19.8 percent this year as compared to that in 2022, adding that in October, the price had seen a hike of 2.5 percent on a monthly basis.

He then urged regional leaders to have the capacity to formulate intervening policies aimed at taming down the soaring inflation rate caused by the hike in food prices.

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In the event of the inflation rate about to hit the ceiling, he emphasized that regions should immediately find solutions, including by ensuring food stocks at markets and inspecting production sites if the markets are experiencing shortages of a commodity.

"It is necessary to directly search for the stock of a commodity to its production sites in the event of inadequate supply. For example, if the prices of shallots increased, you can head directly to Brebes," he stated.

Furthermore, Jokowi encouraged regional leaders to find the sources of food commodities whose prices are shooting up to control inflation rather than merely being occupied by daily routine.

"Check on the stocks in districts, in provinces. Do not be trapped by daily administrative routine. Resolve the pricing issue first before working on administrative tasks. I want you to invest utmost efforts to control prices," he told the regional heads.

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Translator: Mentari Dwi, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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