Jakarta (ANTARA) - Home Affairs Ministry's Inspector General Tomsi Tohir instructed regional authorities to control the surging prices of rice and other commodities in respective regions, including by conducting a market operation.

According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data, some 75 percent of regions in Indonesia still record a hike in rice prices.

"Bulog (State Logistics Company) stated that rice stocks in all regions are adequate. However, the latest weekly report indicated that only 196 regions organized the market operation, and there are still more than 250 regions not carrying out the market operation," Tohir stated.

According to the written statement received here on Wednesday, the inspector general stressed that regional authorities should take action to prevent food commodity prices from surging uncontrollably ahead of Eid al-Fitr.

"Other regions are not carrying out the market operation despite their stocks being adequate, (which may cause the) commodity price to increase. I expect regional leaders to be more attentive about the market operation," he stated.

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Tohir cited BPS' report indicating that apart from rice, the prices of other commodities, such as chilli pepper, bird's eye chilli, chicken egg and meat, and cooking oil, are also surging.

"Acting regional leaders, this is your first warning, and we will evaluate your performance three times. If there are no reports (of market operation) later, it proves that your work is inadequate," the inspector general emphasized.

Tohir expected regional authorities to step up their monitoring of essential food prices. He also expects the food task force in regions and other stakeholders to take action by detecting the price surge and taking direct measures.

"Especially for leaders in regions where chilli prices have been close to Rp100 thousand (US$6.42) per kilogram, take action to alleviate it and prevent it from recurring," he stressed.

The director general stated that controlling commodity prices will reflect their leadership capability in regions.

He also urged Bulog to take the initiative in coordinating with regional leaders to ensure that they will personally inspect on-site conditions instead of relying on reports from their subordinates.

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Translator: Narda Margaretha, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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