Antara, Jakarta – Head of the Finance Ministry's Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF), Febrio Kacaribu, has said he expects the inflation rate to remain under control during the fasting month of Ramadan 1444 Hijri.
The government will keep maintaining the stability of the prices of food commodities during the national religious holidays (HBKN) of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr 1444 Hijri, he added, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Religious Affairs Ministry announced that the fasting month started on March 23, 2023. Meanwhile, Eid al-Fitr is estimated to fall on April 22.
"Price stability during national religious holidays is an important key for maintaining food security and people's purchasing power," the BKF head remarked.
The central and regional governments will continue to monitor the prices and availability of food, carry out market operations and hold cheap basic commodities bazaars, as well as improve the stocks and distribution of commodities.
In addition, the rice assistance program, which started disbursing aid on March 31, is also expected to help control rice prices and help the community in obtaining staple food.
Kacaribu noted that inflation during Ramadan this year has remained quite stable, as reflected by the inflation rate in March 2023, which reached just 4.97 percent year-on-year (yoy), a decline from inflation of 5.47 percent yoy in February.
The inflation rate of volatile food prices also decreased significantly from 7.62 percent yoy in February to 5.83 percent yoy in March.
However, on a month-to-month (m-t-m) basis, there was a slight increase in the prices of several food commodities due to increasing demand from the community ahead of Ramadan.
Apart from food, the decline in the inflation rate in March compared to February was also caused by a fall in the inflation rate of core components, which reached 2.94 percent yoy in March.
It was lower than the inflation rate of the core components in February, which was recorded at 3.09 percent yoy, in line with decreasing pressure on global commodity prices.