Jakarta (ANTARA) - Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian called on regional governments to take action to control inflation amid the increase in the prices of chili and rice.

Karnavian made the appeal while chairing the Regional Inflation Control Coordination Meeting at the Sasana Bhakti Praja Building of the Home Affairs Ministry in Jakarta on Monday.

"We know that those (whose prices have) risen are rice, then chilis. For rice, we all are working on it," he remarked.

According to the minister, one of the efforts to control the prices of chilis is to carry out planting movements, so that production increases.

He assessed that planting chilis does not depend on the rainy season, and people can plant chilis as per their requirement by using grow bags.

Several areas have implemented chili planting movements in cities. A number of regional governments have initiated movements to plant chilis in relatively large quantities.

In addition, those regions gave the remaining unused harvest results to other regions experiencing shortages.

"In Makassar, for example, they use alleys for chili planting media by using grow bags," he stated.

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Karnavian noted that chilis are easy to grow, but the planting is less promoted.

He emphasized that the movement to plant chilis depends on the eagerness of each regional government.

To support inflation control, the minister has issued a circular on the use of the unexpected spending budget for controlling inflation in regions. Law enforcement officials are also willing to assist regional governments, so that they do not hesitate to use the budget to control inflation.

As for rice, in addition to making efforts to increase domestic production, Karnavian also encouraged regional governments to continue to coordinate with the State Logistics Agency (Bulog). This step is aimed at ensuring Bulog's rice stocks can be distributed well.

"The contributor to inflation is still rice. Even though the price has started to flatten, it is still above the reference price. Thus, we must work domestically to create production as well as import for (securing) sufficient stocks which can then be distributed," he remarked.

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Translator: Narda Margaretha, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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