Jakarta (ANTARA) - The prices of several basic necessities in Jakarta have been stable and affordable for the people, Trade Minister Zulfikli Hasan stated while conducting a price review at Senen Market, Jakarta, on Thursday.

"Staple goods in Jakarta are sold at stable prices. The prices of eggs still stand below the reference price set by the government," he remarked.

Hasan explained that the people could buy eggs in the price range between Rp26,500 (US$1.71) and Rp27 thousand (US$1.74) per kilogram, lower than the government's reference price of Rp28 thousand (US$1.80) per kilogram.

The minister further noted that the prices of chicken range between Rp33 thousand and Rp 35 thousand per head, garlic between Rp32 thousand (US$2.06) and Rp33 thousand (US$2.13) per kilogram, and shallots between Rp30 thousand (US$1.93) and Rp35 thousand (US$2.26) per kilogram.

Hasan also stated that cooking oil, meat, and rice are still sold at normal prices, adding that the people could opt for types of rice that are cheaper than that of premium grade.

"(The prices of premium rice) have yet to decline, but the people can choose. If they deem premium rice is too expensive, they can opt for rice offered by Bulog (state-run logistics company) at the price of Rp11 thousand (US$0.71) per kilogram," he remarked.

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However, he noted that the prices of chili in Jakarta are still stuck at a relatively high level, considering that the capital city is located quite far from chili-producing regions, thereby requiring higher costs for delivery.

Bearing that in mind, he urged the Jakarta government to take measures for suppressing the chili prices, such as utilizing the contingency fund to subsidize operational costs.

"If the prices went up too high, the regional government could use the contingency fund to subsidize the additional costs required," he remarked.

Hasan then affirmed that the central government would continue to ensure sufficient stocks of basic goods ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays in the hopes of preventing spikes in prices.

"Christmas and New Year holidays are important, so we need to check (the stocks) in various regions, including in Gresik and Bogor. It is necessary to ensure that the people can buy staple commodities at affordable prices before and during the holidays," he remarked.

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Translator: Adimas Raditya, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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