President urges cabinet to maintain food, energy resilience: minister

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President Joko Widodo has instructed ministers in the Onward Indonesia Cabinet to maintain food and energy resilience amidst rising global commodity prices.

“All countries in the world are facing difficult situations. Therefore, food resilience and energy resilience need to be improved,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said at the Presidential palace here on Tuesday.

Minister Indrawati delivered the statement during a press conference with the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Airlangga Hartarto, after attending the Plenary Cabinet Session on ‘Anticipating the Situation and Development of the World Economy,’ which was led by President Widodo.

Indrawati said that her ministry will support the plan by planning the state budget, which, due to the increase in commodity prices, would also see improvement owing to state revenues. However, the increase would also impact the general public through inflation, she added.

The government will formulate a plan for the proper allocation of the additional state revenue.

The minister revealed that President Widodo has instructed that food and fuel prices be monitored to determine future policies. A triad of aspects must be kept in balance, those being people’s purchasing power, economic momentum, as well as the state budget.

She disclosed that the government still has Rp455 trillion to allocate for economic recovery programs, which would be focused on labor-intensive programs, particularly those undertaken by the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry and others.

The President has also directed that efforts to ensure food resilience — such as land clearing, irrigation, ascertaining supply of fertilizers, as well as seeds for plants that can be grown locally — be expedited, the minister said.

For example, a policy by relevant ministries needs to be set promptly for food commodities that can be harvested in less than 3 months, such as rice, corn, and soybeans.

Meanwhile, Minister Hartarto noted the increase in commodity prices, for both food and energy, due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Source: Antara News