No need for rice market operations, logistics agency chief claims
The Jakarta Post
State Logistics Agency (Bulog) president director Budi Waseso says he can guarantee the availability of rice in the market because under his leadership, the agency will no longer hold market operations, a mechanism used to push rice prices down due to rice scarcity.
“[Under my leadership], there will be no market operations, which Bulog had only used like a fire extinguisher. I want that [rice] to always be available [in the market],” said Budi as reported by kompas.com on Tuesday.
Soon after his inauguration as Bulog chief, Budi introduced the use of a barcode system to monitor an online database of commodities.
Apart from introducing the barcoded 5-and 10-kilogram packages of medium-quality rice, Bulog will also introduce smaller packages of 250-gram medium-quality rice to be sold at small kiosks to help people afford rice.
To prevent rice scarcity, Budi said, Bulog’s warehouses should always be ready with rice stocks. “I don’t want anyone to play games with rice stock. When people need to buy the commodity, it should be available,” he added.
He said all stakeholders should anticipate the increased demand for staple foods prior to Ramadhan because adequate stocks of staple foods would prevent price increases.
He stressed that the government had to fully control the distribution of staple foods managed by Bulog to assure price stability and adequate stocks. “The state has to control the prices and guarantee availability,” he added. (bbn)
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