Government Urged to Review Rice Import Option
By : Herry Barus And Aldo Bella Putra | Thursday, January 11 2018 - 22:00 IWST
Ilustrasi Beras (Ist)
INDUSTRY.co.id - The Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) wants the government to review rice import options in order to suppress the high price of medium rice that is considered to burden the society, especially the poor.
"The consistently high price of rice will certainly be burdensome for consumers, especially the poor who earn the same income or less than Rp300.000 per month," said CIPS Research Head Hizkia Respatiadi in Jakarta yesterday.
According to Hizkia Respatiadi, rising rice prices are considered to be one of their poverty contributors, as well as the application of the highest retail price (HET) is an instant way and not a long-run price stability solution.
He cautioned that many rice mills close because grain prices are higher than HET.
For that, he said, CIPS encourages the government to open import taps to stabilize the supply and price of rice.
The government, he added, could take advantage of ASEAN Economic Community (MEA) cooperation by importing rice from Thailand or Vietnam whose rice prices are cheaper than Indonesia.
Earlier, the Central Bureau of Statistics said the average price of medium rice at the milling level in December 2017 rose by 2.66 percent to Rp9,526 per kilogram compared to November.
Head of BPS Suhariyanto in Jakarta, Tuesday (2/1), said that the increase in rice prices, especially the quality of the medium in December 2017 is due to an increase in demand from the community.
The average increase of rice price not only occurs in medium quality rice only. However, premium rice also increased to Rp9,860 per kilogram, up 3.37 percent compared to the previous month.
Meanwhile, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, as reported by Antara, asked to review medium-grade rice import options to stabilize prices that are now continuing to climb.
"The import option is not prohibited, but we ask that the 'incase' is necessary, incase, if it goes up it must import immediately," he told reporters at the Presidential Office on Tuesday (9/1).
The Vice President conveyed that response in relation to the continuing crawling of medium class rice price which has now reached more than Rp11,000 per kg, exceeding the highest retail price (HET) Rp9.450 per kg.