ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Govt, BI coordinate to safeguard inflation in 2014
The government and Bank Indonesia (BI) will continue to coordinate to safeguard inflation in 2014, which has been targeted at 4.5 percent plus minus 1 percent, by preparing a sufficient supply of food commodities so that prices remain stable.
“We are committed to controlling this year’s inflation rate, and we will do that by coordinating better with BI,” Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said as quoted by Antara news agency on Thursday.
The minister said inflation was very influential on the nation's economy, so the government aimed to ensure sufficient supplies of basic food items to prevent inflationary pressure of the kind seen at the beginning of January.
“Despite high rainfall and flooding nationwide, there have been no reports of food scarcity in any areas. There is enough food. The prices of several staple foods have increased but this is purely seasonal,” Hatta said.
He also said that fuel supplies would be sufficient for the next 90 days and there would be no disruption to distribution despite the heavy rains since the beginning of the year.
“There has been no scarcity of fuel. [State-owned oil company PT] Pertamina can handle the situation with an average availability of more than 18 days. For non-subsidized fuel, available stocks can meet demand for up to 90 days,” said Hatta.
He said the government would continue its efforts to stabilize prices and ensure the availability of food - both in production and distribution - by improving infrastructure.
“We are due to hold a meeting about damage to roads, especially those in Java, Manado and Sumatra,” Hatta said.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded inflation of 1.07 percent in January, which was primarily triggered by disruptions to food distribution due to the bad weather. This rate is markedly higher compared to average January inflation in each of the last five years. (ebf)
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