Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government will not hesitate to punish garlic importers who fail to promptly fulfill their duties by revoking their import permits, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan stated on Friday.

He added that they will also be blacklisted if they do not import.

"This warning not only applies to importers of garlic but also to those of other commodities, such as meat and sugar," he pointed out.

At the June 4 coordination meeting on inflation, the government set a target to import 669,526 tons of garlic this year.

Despite the government issuing permits for the import of 349,290 tons of garlic, only 162,139 tons have been realized.

The ministry has also sent letters of reprimand to three business entities that possess permits to import raw crystal sugar for not utilizing their permits.

On May 27, Bambang Wisnubroto, the ministry's Director of Staple Goods and Essential Materials, explained that the reprimands were issued in the government's effort to expedite the fulfillment of the national need for sugar.

He said that the ministry had also continued to coordinate with the National Food Agency (Bapanas) to ensure that permit-holding raw sugar importers promptly import, process, and distribute the sugar.

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Translator: Maria C, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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