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Govt extends rice price ceiling relaxation

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Ilona Estherina, Jakarta – The government has officially extended the relaxation of the retail price ceiling (HET) for rice. Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), Arief Prasetyo Adi, said this was a strategic move to ensure the stability of the supply and price of rice in traditional markets and modern retailers throughout Indonesia.

According to him, it is also part of the government's efforts to address food supply and price challenges amid fluctuations in global commodity prices and climate change affecting national food production.

"The extension of the HET relaxation for rice is in effect today until new rules on HET in the form of National Food Agency regulations are issued," Arief said in a written statement on Monday, June 3.

This policy is stated in the Bapanas Head's circular to stakeholders No. 160/TS.02.02/K/5/2024 dated May 31, 2024. Previously, the government had increased the HET for rice in eight regions since March 2024, by around Rp1,000 per kilogram for premium rice and Rp1,600-1,700 per kilogram for medium rice. This is the third extension of HET relaxation.

President Joko Widodo or Jokowi emphasized that the rice HET policy is adapted to the current situation and conditions. It is difficult to suppress the highest retail prices despite abundant main harvest production "Because agro input costs, farmers' costs, land rent, capital, labor, have all increased," he said when visiting Senggol Market, Dumai, Riau, on Saturday, June 1.

Syaiful Bahari, chairman of the People's Rice Industry Community, said that the increase in the HET would increase the rice price in the market. This also indicates that the government failed to reduce rice prices due to high market prices. "The HET is also increasing because of the panceklik (drought). This will likely push up rice prices again," he said.

Based on the Bapanas price panel page this morning, the prices of premium and medium rice increased by Rp450 to Rp15,900 and by Rp510 to Rp13,910, respectively.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1875668/govt-extends-rice-price-ceiling-relaxatio