Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Limited Cabinet Meeting (Through Video Conference) on the Follow-up Discussion of the Anticipation of Staple Food Demand, 13 May 2020, at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Distinguished Vice President, Ministries, and Head of Institutions.
This is the third time we have talked about the staple food issues due to matters of stock availability and price, it is important for us to continue to monitor the price stability daily, weekly. As I have often said, be careful with FAO’s warnings about the food crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I saw a report from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in April that staple food experienced deflation of 0.13 percent. This is an indication of a decrease in demand for food ingredients and it means that people’s purchasing power decreased. Therefore, the Government has launched Social Cash Assistance for 9 million families, Village Cash Assistance Sourced from Village Fund Program for 11 million families, Staple Food Card Program, Family Hope Program, also Cash Labor-intensive Program, and we hope that this will increase people’s purchasing power.
I see that related to the availability and price stability, there are 2 possible things I want to highlight, namely, onion, which has a national average price of Rp51,000, far from the reference price for onions, which is Rp32,000. Then, also sugar, until now, as I continue to pursue, until now the price is around Rp17,000-17,500 even though the Highest Retail Price (HET) should be at Rp12,500. Therefore, I want this problem to be sorted, whether the problem is distribution process or lack of stock or deliberate price manipulation for a large profit. I instruct you to supervise the field, control the price so that people’s purchasing power can increase.
This concludes my introduction.