ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Bulog allocates Rp 2.5 trillion for government’s rice reserve
The State Logistics Agency (Bulog) has allocated Rp 2.5 trillion (US$187 million) to buy rice for the government’s rice reserve (CBP), in an attempt to stabilize rice prices and help victims of natural disasters.
Bulog operational and public service director Karyawan Gunarso said with the budget, Bulog could buy between 250,000 and 300,000 tons of rice.
“The government’s rice reserve will be used for market operations in an effort to push prices down and help victims of natural disasters,” said Gunarso in Jakarta on Tuesday, as reported by tribunnews.com.
Since last December, the government had intervened in the market to push down prices of rice to the ceiling price level, as the market price has always been above the ceiling decided by the government.
Since December, Bulog had distributed 204,000 tons of rice for market operation, Gunarso said, adding that the agency still had 800,000 tons of rice stocks after being combined with government rice stocks.
“If our stock runs out, we will use the CBP for market operation,” he added.
Gunarso said Bulog was ready to increase the stocks for CBP as long as it passed the right procedures, such as rice purchase only being proposed by related bodies and that purchases are reported to the Finance Ministry.
Disposing of the stock should also be considered, particularly because it can only stand for a certain period, he said, adding that “Bulog should be authorized to sell rice to private firms at a low price.”
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