Sat, 08 Apr 2000

BRI to disburse Rp 500b rice credits

JAKARTA (JP): State-run Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) promised on Friday to begin disbursing Rp 500 billion (US$66.6 million) in credits to village cooperatives on Monday to help them buy unhusked rice from farmers, Antara reported.

The special credit scheme will be made available to cooperatives in areas that are still harvesting, BRI president Djoko Santoso Mulyono said after meeting National Logistics Agency (Bulog) chairman Rizal Ramli on Friday.

BRI has been accused of complicating the disbursement of the government credits that should have been distributed at the end of March.

Bulog, administrator of the cooperatives, threatened earlier to take its account elsewhere because of the delays.

Prices of unhusked rice have plunged to a low of Rp 700 per kilogram, compared to a government-target floor price of Rp 1,020, because the cooperatives did not have enough money to absorb the huge surplus.

Rizal said that with the BRI money becoming available, the price should rise to Rp 1,000 per kilograms.

Bulog has also secured Rp 2.8 trillion in loans from privately owned Bank Bukopin for the January to March period and another Rp 6 trillion for April-December from Bank Bukopin, BRI and state- run Bank Mandiri. (10)