The Jakarta Post
Coordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil says the government will strive to control food prices, especially ahead of Ramadhan, so that the inflation rate target of 5 percent for the year can be realized.
'We will strive to keep inflation under control during Ramadhan and Idul Fitri. To that end, the prices of commodities that have the tendency to trigger inflation must be safe guarded,' he said as quoted by Antara in Jakarta on Monday evening.
Sofyan said the government would focus efforts on controlling volatile food prices by ensuring adequate supplies. Moreover, staple food was the main contributor to May's inflation rate.
''Volatile' products are really the source of the problem. Inflation is 'vulnerable' to several products, such as red chilies, shallots and chicken. But the important thing is to keep rice prices under control,' he said.
The minister further said that local administrations could play roles in maintaining people's purchasing power so that the inflation rate would not fluctuate due to shortages of staple food supplies ahead of the middle of the year.
'During the Regional Inflation Control Teams [TPID] meeting, the President requested that every regency and city administration remain aware of inflation controls because if the inflation rate is uncontrolled, people's purchasing power will decline,' said Sofyan.
Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data shows that May's inflation rate stood at 0.5 percent, the highest rate among similar months in the last seven years, triggered by increases in food prices ahead of Ramadhan and Idul Fitri.
January-May inflation stood at 0.42 percent while the year-on-year inflation stood at 7.15 percent. Core inflation for January-May stood at 0.23 percent while year-on-year it was 5.04 percent.
Commodities that saw price increases and contributed to inflation were red chilies, chicken, eggs, shallots, garlic, fish, tomatoes, hot chili peppers and electricity rates. The price of rice remained relatively stable and stopped the inflation rate from increasing further. (ebf)(++++)
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