Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), on Wednesday, visited a warehouse complex of state-run logistics company Bulog in Merangin District, Jambi Province, to inspect rice stocks while taking part in the distribution of rice aid to locals.

"Ladies and gentlemen, have you received 10 kilograms of rice aid? Based on a report I received, some of you have received the aid thrice, while some have only received it once. Is that true?" he asked aid beneficiaries, as quoted from a statement released by his secretariat in Jakarta.

The head of state told the beneficiaries that the government had decided to continue to hand out rice assistance up until June this year while noting that the distribution period might be extended further if the State Budget (APBN) permits.

"We will initially assess the capacity of the APBN before deciding to extend the aid distribution period to July, August, September, October, November, and December. I cannot promise you but we will extend the period until December if the APBN permits," he highlighted.

A local resident, Sarah, expressed hope that the rice aid distribution would be extended, as she deems the aid as being highly beneficial to her family.

"Praise be to God, I am truly assisted (by the aid) in this Ramadan month, given the prices of rice are still quite high. Hence, I am very grateful to Mr. Jokowi," she remarked.

Sinur Murni, another aid beneficiary, admitted to being relieved by the rice assistance that she has received thrice.

"As a person with low economic capacity, I am very grateful. I have received the rice aid thrice. Thank you," she stated.

Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi, Jambi Governor Al Haris, and Merangin District Head Mukti accompanied President Jokowi during the activity.

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Translator: Benardy F, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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