TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Sfyan Djalil, said that the government will not make any decision regarding rice import in the near future. Sofyan said that public needs of rice during the time of Ramadhan and Lebaran will be supplied by local rice producers. "We don't need to import rice for Ramadhan," Sofyan said.
Previously, the government had planned to import rice in preparation for the upcoming Ramadhan and Lebaran season. Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel said that the import is needed to maintain price stability. Gobel said that the volume of the import will depend on the available stock at the National Logistics Agency.
Sofyan however, asserted that rice import may be necessary to maintain a steady supply of rice by the end of 2015 and in the beginning of 2016. Sofyan said that the final decision will be made by the end of July. "Great harvest season will continue until the end of May, after that we will see [if we need to import rice or not]. Import will be carried out if we experience lack of [supply] for domestic consumption," Sofyan said.
Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto said that the government has not received any instructions to import rice from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. "Until today, the President's instruction remains the same, no rice imports," Andi said as quoted from the Cabinet Secretary website on May 13, 2015.
PINGIT ARIA | ALI HIDAYAT | ROBBY IRFANY