President Jokowi Tells Regional Leaders to Intervene to Control Inflation

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 4 Agustus 2016
Category: News
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President Jokowi strikes the gong to mark the opening of the 7th National Coordinating Meeting at Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel, Jakarta, Monday (4/8).

President  Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has urged regional leaders – governors, regents, mayors – to pay more attention to inflation rate. Economic growth is indeed important and so is inflation rate, the President stated.

The President made the statement in his remarks at the 7th National Coordinating Meeting (Rakornas) held at Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel, Jakarta, on Monday (4/8).

Therefore, President Jokowi told governors, regents and mayors whose regions do not have the Regional Inflation Controlling Team (TPID) yet to immediately set up the team.

“If possible, do provide budget for price control so once there is volatility in prices, intervention measures can be immediately taken,” President Jokowi said.

President Jokowi also said the several regions have taken very good intervention measures to control inflation.In East Java, for example, the intervention is done through public transportation fares, while in Jakarta, the intervention is done through prices of basic food commodities, for example beef, which is sold at the market at Rp110,000 –Rp120,000but is sold at Rp39,000 by the Jakarta provincial government.

“I suppose other cities (and regions) can follow suit. Besides other routine measures that we often do such as market operations, it would be better if we also take more detailed measures to control inflation,” the President said.

On that occasion, President Jokowi also told PrecinctPolice, the Attorney General Office, regional governments, and the central bank Bank Indonesia to carry out inspection to warehouses of basic commodities every week, every two weeks, or every month to check whether those warehouses stockpile too many commodities and want to tamper with prices or whether they are running out of supplies.

“This is what we have to know. If the supplies are running low, we must take measures to increase the supply. However, if the supplies are stockpiled, we must be careful. They might want to tamper with the supply. We must directly instruct them to distribute the commodities so prices in the cities, regencies, and provinces will be stable again,” the President said.

 At the end of his remarks, President Jokowi also noted relations between economic growth and inflation. The President reminded that 9 percent economic growth is not something to be proud of if inflation is at 15 percent because it means a 6 percent deficit.

“The people might have the money to buy something but it is expensive. We must understand that. If the economic growth is at 9 percent and the inflation is at 3, that’s what we aim for. So it means the people can buy goods at affordable prices,” the President said.

“Therefore, we have to control inflation. We should not be proud of our economic growth if we cannot control inflation,” the President said.

The President cited the example of Singapore who inflation is in fact at minus 0.54 percent, while Malaysia posted an inflation rate in 2015 at 2.1 percent, the United States 0.12 percent, Europe 0.04 percent while in 2014, Indonesia’s inflation rate was at 8.36 percent, 2015 at 3.35 percent, andin 2016, our inflation is expected to be at 3 – 4 percent.

“We will arrange to rate in order to be at that range (3-4 percent) and in 2018, it is expected to be at 3.5 percent plus and minus. Most importantly, it has to continue to lower,” President Jokowi concluded.

The meeting was also attended by Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Governor of Bank Indonesia Agus Martowardjojo, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Home Affairs Tjahjo Kumolo, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Speakers and members of the House of Representatives (DPR-RI), governors, regents, and mayors from all over Indonesia.(DNA/OJI/ES)(EP/YM/Naster) 

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