Seeing an indication that the price game resulted in high prices of medium quality rice to around IDR 9,500 per kg at the level, the government will hold a total audit of rice in Indonesia, which will be conducted by PT (Persero) Sucofindo. Speaking in Jakarta on Friday (February 20), Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel said that this audit will be carried out thoroughly ranging from issuance of regulations to control the price of rice, distribution and market operation mechanism, including sanctions for those who violate them. Even the government has coordinated to increase oversight to prevent undesirable things.
“We coordinated with a number of agencies that deal with rice, including associations and employers to ensure the availability of basic commodities, including rice and the distribution and procurement of rice, as well a task force to carry out market operations. In case of violation, the government will impose criminal sanctions based of the applicable regulations.
The Ministry of Trade will coordinate with the Coordinating Minister of Economy reporting about price development and stock. To that end, the Ministry of Trade will provide medium-term and long-term policy strategy.
I requested an audit, whether the system is running correctly. I see that there is a game in which traders should sell rice to the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) with a price of IDR 7.400/kg, the traders are given the job of distributing Bulog’s market operations rice, as assigned by the government at a price of IDR 7,400/kg. If traders are selling rice with prices above IDR 7,400/kg, it means that there is something weird. Accounting to the government, this is against the rules, “he said.
In the same occasion, Director of Bulog, Leny Sugihat, said that at the instructions of the Minister of Trade, since December 2014, this state-owned enterprise has conducted market operations, which aims to control and stabilize rice price. Market operations are conducted through three ways. First, it is performed at the request of the local governments throughout Indonesia, to be channeled through the rice stall in Cipinang Market. Second, bulog cooperates with PD Pasar Jaya. And third, market Operations are carried out by Bulog’s task force.
However, every day Bulog continuously monitors the development of rice prices, as well as performs monitoring every month. From December 2014 to January 2015, bulog has released more than 75 thousand tons of rice in the framework of market operations, and the rice entered the Cipinang Main Market (Pasar Induk Cipinang). “Therefore, there should not be a price increase in the Market, because for price of medium quality rice at the retail level, the Ministry of Trade has set the price of rice, for of gudang in Java at IDR 6,800/kg plus IDR 600 per kg for distribution so the price becomes IDR 7,400/kg.
Actually, in the last two months, there were 75 thousand tons of rice distributed to the market, and the price should not multiply. But, Bulog who immediately checked into the market, can no longer find rice price of IDR 7,400 per kg. Bulog is supposed the provide by the community. That’s why Bulog visited community residences, since Monday (February 15) has conducted market operations in 50 residential points in Jakarta, Depok, Bekasi and Tangerang. This cooperation is carried out by Bulog with the Jakarta Military District Command (Kodam Jaya) for fleet procurement and personnel assistance. Bulog sees that this condition until March, if necessary, will be continued until the price of rice is stable. It is predicted that from March to June there will be harvest, so it is estimated that rice stocks would be sufficient.
The government will not import rice, considering that next month we are entering harvest season, and government rice stock in Blog’s hands is still sufficient, so that the government will use Bulog’s rice reserve for conducting market operations. In line with Gobel, Director General of Food Crops of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hasil Sembiring, suggested that there should be no fears of shortage of rice supply, considering that there is optimization of paddy land of 1.3 million hectare. For January, February, March, and April this year it is predicted that in January, there will be rice harvest of 621,398 thousand hectare area, in February, 1.3 million hectare harvest, and increased again in March at 2.4 million hectares, or even greater. In April, to size of rice field increased again to 2.1 million hectare.
When it is used in the form of GKP (dry grain harvest), the crop in January is predicted to be 3.2 million tons, an increase to 6.2 million tons in February, 12.25 million tons in March, and 10.6 million tons in April. Thus, in January and April, the area that becomes GKP is 19.1 million tons. When converted to rice, in January 1.9 million tons, in February 3.9 million tons, 7.1 million tons in March, and 6.1 million tons in April. After April, it is predicted that harvested area will increase according to government programs, where there is additional planting of around 2.6 million hectares of rice plants. Thus, what is increasing is the size of harvest crops. (E)
Business News - February 25, 2015