Purple Party: A Tribute To PrinceAfter an instant-classic, sold-out late-night performance in New Orleans during this year’s Jazz Fest, the Purple Party will come together once again to pay their respects to the one and only Prince at Brooklyn Comes Alive. The band is an embarrassment of riches, with an all-star cast of incredible funk players across the board. The sensational former Prince bassist MonoNeon will join forces with Robert “Sput” Searight and Nate Werth (Snarky Puppy, Ghost Note), Steve Swatkins (Allen Stone), Ryan Jalbert and Lyle Divinsky (The Motet), Shira Elias and Sammi Garett (Turkuaz), Chris Bullock and Mike “Maz” Maher (Snarky Puppy), Will Trask (Great American Taxi), and Megan Letts (Mama Magnolia). Casey Russell (the Magic Beans) will play keys and act as musical director.As with previous all-star tribute shows at Brooklyn Comes Alive, you never know who might show up as a special guest…Cory Henry / Nikki Glaspie / Scott Metzger / MonoNeon / SkerikBCA veterans Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power), Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, WOLF!), MonoNeon (Prince, Ghost Note) and Skerik will join the ultra-talented keyboardist Cory Henry (formerly of Snarky Puppy, Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles) for his debut performance at the festival, making for an unforgettable quintet.George Porter Jr. / Brandon “Taz” Niederauer / Adam Smirnoff / Jeff Sipe / Peter Levin / Elise Testone: In Honor Of Col. Bruce Hampton, Butch Trucks, Gregg Allman, & Those We’ve Lost This special performance will see an all-star cast of musicians come together to pay their respects to guitar prodigy Brandon “Taz” Niederuar‘s three mentors-Col. Bruce Hampton, Butch Trucks, and Gregg Allman-all of whom passed away last year. Joining Taz will be GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, the iconic bassist George Porter Jr. (The Meters), guitarist Adam Smirnoff (Lettuce), Jeff Sipe, the founding drummer in Aquarium Rescue Unit with Col. Bruce Hampton, keys/organ player Peter Levin (Gregg Allman Band) and vocalist Elise Testone (American Idol, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer Band).Marc Brownstein / Borahm Lee / Alvin Ford Jr. / Khris RoyalMarc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits) will join forces with Borahm Lee (Break Science, Pretty Lights Live), Alvin Ford Jr. (Dumpstaphunk, Pretty Lights Live) and Khris Royal (Rebelution) for a unique mixture of electronic music and New Orleans funk. Brownstein & Lee are BCA veterans, having played the event several times, including as part of [B]reaking [B]iscuits, one of BCA’s most celebrated ensembles to date.A Tribute To Steely Dan With Members Of The Motet, Turkuaz, The Nth Power, Snarky Puppy, & MoreA Tribute To Steely Dan will round out BCA’s tribute series, with Joey Porter (The Motet) serving as musical director. Porter will be joined by: Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power), Nate Edgar (The Nth Power), Michelangelo Carubba (Turkuaz), Tim Palmieri (Kung Fu), Nate Werth (Snarky Puppy, Ghost Note), Chris Bullock (Snarky Puppy), Mike “Maz” Maher (Snarky Puppy), Lyle Divinsky (The Motet), Hayley Jane (Hayley Jane & The Primates) and Sammi Garett (Turkuaz) for a respectful tribute to the innovative musicians and songwriters Donald Fagen and Walter Becker.Johnny Vidacovich / Robert Walter / Eric “Benny” BloomA special one-off Jazz trio performance by New Orleans jazz drumming legend, Johnny Vidacovich, accomplished keyboardist Robert Walter (Greyboy-Allstars, Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, Mike Gordon), and the ultra-talented trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom (Lettuce).Adam Deitch QuartetCelebrated Lettuce drummer Adam Deitch will give a rare performance with his quartet – Adam Deitch Quartet – this year, joined by Wil Blades and Lettuce bandmates Ryan Zoidis and Eric “Benny” Bloom.2017 saw the ensemble’s first record, Egyptian Secrets, and there have only been a select few performances since the release.Karina Rykman Experiment featuring special guests Robert Walter & Dave HarringtonShe is best known for her touring chops in Marco Benevento’s band, but bassist Karina Rykman recently debuted her own band and she’s bringing a special rendition to BCA 2018. Karina Rykman Experiment will see Rykman and her band – featuring Adam November and Chris Corsico – joined by renowned keys and organ player Robert Walter and improvisational wizard, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Dave HarringtonSwitch HittersEarlier this year, a brand new band comprised of Wil Blades, Nigel Hall (Lettuce), Robert “Sput” Searight (Snarky Puppy, Ghost Note) and Nate Werth (Snarky Puppy, Ghost Note) made its debut at the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco, followed by a much-talked-about late night at Jazz Fest. Now the Switch Hitters will make their East Coast debut at Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018.Baby Jesus Peasant PartyThe beloved Jazz Fest late night brainchild of Lettuce bassist Eric “Jesus” Coomes will make its Brooklyn debut this year. Baby Jesus Peasant Party sees Jesus play alongside his drumming and producing brother Tyler Coomes, Borham Lee (Break Science, Pretty Lights Live), Ryan Zodis (Lettuce) and Khris Royal (Rebelution).Carubba Compa WindermanA blast from the past comes courtesy of Carubba Compa Winderman, the original trio lineup of Dopapod. Back in their days at Berklee College of Music, keyboardist Eli Winderman founded Dopapod with his fellow classmates, drummer Michelangelo Carubba, and guitarist Rob Compa. Carubba is now known for his chops in the live powerhouse ensemble Turkuaz, but after reuniting with Compa & Winderman earlier this year for a set in Philadelphia, BCA 2018 provides another special opportunity for the original trio to reunite.Shira Elias’ Soul TracksShira Elias (Turkuaz) will lead her own time machine set, Shira Elias’ Soul Tracks, which will see the singer perform soul music from across eras encompassing everything from Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye, to Erykah Badu and Hiatus Kaiyote. She will be joined by Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power), Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power), Nate Edgar (The Nth Power), James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band), Lyle Divinsky (The Motet), Steve Swatkins (Allen Stone Band) and Joél Gonzalez.KatharsisIn 2017, members of The Motet, Electric Beethoven, Dopapod, and Digital Tape Machine debuted a new side project, Katharsis, and they’re bringing their brand of psychedelic funk to BCA 2018. Katharsis is Dave Watts (The Motet), Todd Stoops (RAQ, Electric Beethoven), Chuck Jones (Dopapod) and Marcus Rezak (Digital Tape Machine).Wokes With Jokes: Stand-Up Comedy About The Jamband SceneFor the first time ever, BCA will also present a comedy set alongside their usual musical programming. Wokes With Jokes: Stand-Up Comedy About The Jamband Scene emerged in 2017 during Phish’s New Years run, followed by successful shows based around multi-night runs with Umphrey’s McGee & The Disco Biscuits. The comedy troupe – comprised of Brett Siddell, Walker Berry, Ariella Wallen, Pamela Mahler and MC Richie Alfson – will be making their BCA debut this year.Jam Cruise Presents… A Very Special Late Night In The JAM ROOMA staple of the beloved festival-at-sea, Jam Cruise will bring their beloved Jam Room to land for the first time ever at Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018. The Jam Room gives artists the chance to collaborate in an open and relaxed atmosphere. There will be two Jam Room sessions at BCA this year—one led by the fan-favorite bassist of The Meters, George Porter Jr., and the other co-hosted by Karina Rykman and Craig Brodhead.GA and VIP tickets are on sale NOW on Eventbrite. For more information, visit the Brooklyn Comes Alive website.All art by Jimmy Rector – Accepted Perspective The fourth-annual Brooklyn Comes Alive will return to Brooklyn’s beloved Williamsburg neighborhood on September 29th for an all-day music marathon at Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg and Rough Trade. Earlier in the summer, the one-of-a-kind, multi-venue event’s artist and band lineup was revealed exclusively on SiriusXM by radio personality and industry insider Stef Scamardo, who also announced SiriusXM Jam On curator Ari Fink as the event’s official host.Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive brings together more than 50 artists, allowing them to carry out passion projects, play with their musical heroes and collaborate in never-before-seen formations for one jam-packed day in Williamsburg. Each attendee receives a wristband that grants access to every venue and makes hopping from set to set a breeze, recreating and paying homage to the club-hopping atmosphere of Jazz Fest by night.For 2018, Brooklyn Comes Alive has put forward an impressive lineup that features an impressive mix of musicians from bands such as Lettuce, The Disco Biscuits, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Snarky Puppy, Pretty Lights Live Band, Turkuaz, The Meters, The Motet, Dopapod, The Nth Power and more.Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite. Visit BrooklynComesAlive.com for more information. See below for the stacked lineup and a full breakdown of all of the unique collaborative sets that are in store for this year’s Brooklyn Comes Alive.
Decorated rock and roll photographer Guy Webster has passed away at the age of 79. Webster’s biographer Harvey Kubernik confirmed that the photographer passed away on February 5th after suffering from diabetes and liver cancer.Among the notable images in Guy Webster’s portfolio are the photos used on The Doors‘ self-titled debut album cover, The Rolling Stones‘ (Big Hits) High Tide & Green Grass, Simon & Garfunkel‘s Sounds of Silence, Waylon Jennings‘ Don’t Think Twice, and more.One of his most well-known album covers is the image he captured for The Mamas & The Papas‘ 1966 classic, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, in which the four band members appear together (clothed) in a bathtub with the toilet prominently displayed to their left. As Webster explained to Kubernik for his biography, Big Shots: Rock Legends and Hollywood Icons: The Photography of Guy Webster, “We were sitting around and … we were all really stoned. And in that apartment was that 1920s and 1930s bathroom with all the tile. I put them in the bathtub and I set up my tripod and my big two-and-a-quarter camera and shot that picture. And in that picture was the toilet. You can’t put a toilet on the cover of anything and sell it at Sears or one of those chain stores. So Lou came up with a great idea to put a little sticker on the shrink-wrap that said, ‘Including ‘California Dreaming’.” That covered the toilet. It became one of the most controversial album covers of its day. Which pleased us to no end.”As Variety notes, Guy Webster also worked individually with such well-known artists as Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Herb Alpert, Jerry Lee Lewis, Judy Collins, Jose Feliciano, Janis Joplin, Micky Dolenz, Ricky Nelson, Ravi Shankar, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Sonny Bono.Beyond his work in the music world, Guy Webster also photographed a number of other high-profile celebrities including Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, Dean Martin, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Wood, Bob Hope, Bob Newhart, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Edward G. Robinson, Elizabeth Montgomery, Eva Gabor, Jack Nicholson, Jane Fonda, John Belushi, Larry Hagman, Leonard Nimoy, Marlo Thomas, Priscilla Presley, Raquel Welch, Rock Hudson, Truman Capote and William Shatner.You can peruse Guy Webster’s prodigious photo portfolio via his website here.[H/T Variety]
The Claypool Lennon Delirium, led by Les Claypool and Sean Lennon, has added seven new 2019 headlining summer tour dates, as the band continues to support their new sophomore release, South of Reality. New York City rockers Uni will offer support on all of the newly announced dates.Following their previously announced run of shows with The Flaming Lips, The Claypool Lennon Delirium will open up their newly announced headlining run at Atlanta, GA’s Variety Playhouse on August 9th, followed by stops at Birmingham, AL’s Iron City (8/10); Austin, TX’s Emo’s (8/12); Dallas, TX’s House of Blues (8/13); Kansas City, MO’s Madrid Theatre (8/14); Bellvue, CO’s Mishawaka Amphitheatre (8/16); and Denver, CO’s Ogden Theatre on August 17th.Next up for CLD is a performance at Santa Rosa, CA’s High Times Cannabis Cup on June 1st, followed by a string of co-headlining shows with Jim James. The 8-date summer run will begin on June 21st at Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, UT. From there, the two acts will make their way to Bonner, MT (6/22); Seattle, WA (6/24); Vancouver, BC (6/25); Portland, OR (6/27); Anaheim, CA (7/2); Los Angeles, CA (7/3); and Paso Robles, CA (7/5).The Claypool Lennon Delirium will then hit the road with The Flaming Lips, along with indie-Americana act Particle Kid, for 12 performances beginning on July 23rd in Wichita, KS and continuing through August 7th with a gig in Raleigh, NC.Fan pre-sale tickets for all newly announced shows, including VIP upgrade options, go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday, May 29th at 10 a.m. local time. A general public on-sale will begin this Friday, May 31st at 10 a.m. local time.For a full list of The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s upcoming tour dates, ticketing, and more information, head to the band’s website.
Elizabeth Cropper, dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art and president of the Renaissance Society of America, has been awarded the I Tatti Mongan Prize.The prize, in honor of Agnes and Elizabeth Mongan, was founded by a gift from Melvin Seiden ’52, LL.B. ’55, in 1986. It is given to a scholar of Italian Renaissance art, French art, drawings, and connoisseurship who carries into a new generation the qualities of imaginative scholarship, personal generosity, and devotion to the institutions of art history that were exemplified in their own generation by Agnes and Elizabeth Mongan.Elizabeth Cropper received a B.A. from Cambridge University, England, and a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. She has been a professor at Johns Hopkins University since 1985.Agnes Mongan (1905-96) was a distinguished curator and connoisseur of drawings ranging from the Italian Renaissance to the 19th and 20th centuries in France. Among her many positions, she served as curator of drawings at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum, and then as director from 1969 to 1971. Elizabeth Mongan (1910-2002) was a connoisseur of prints and drawings and the first curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald collection, the finest collection of prints then in private hands.
Pratheev Sreetharan ’06, Ph.D. ’12, a pioneer in pop-up robotics, has been recognized by Technology Review magazine as among the world’s top innovators under the age of 35.A panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review, published by MIT, selected him from more than 300 nominees.Sreetharan recently graduated with a doctorate in applied physics from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). He also holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Harvard College.The founder and CTO at Vibrant Research worked in the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory directed by Robert Wood, Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SEAS, who himself was named a TR35 innovator in 2009.Sreetharan was honored for his co-development of a novel technique inspired by elegant pop-up books and origami that enables clones of robotic insects to be mass-produced by the sheet.In addition, he played a crucial role in the creation of a millionth-scale differential to govern the flight of minuscule aerial robots that could someday be used to probe environmental hazards, forest fires, and other places too perilous for people.Sreetharan and the other TR35 winners for 2012 will be featured in the September issue of Technology Review magazine and honored at the 2012 Emerging Technologies Conference, called EmTech, to be held at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., on October 24–25. Read Full Story
ALSO: Oscar Isaac talks Inside Llewyn Davis on The Daily Show; Carey Mulligan chats on Kelly and Michael. ALSO: An off-Broadway revival of Joe Orton’s Loot begins tonight at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 SIX FEET UNDER After four extensions, the acclaimed new musical Fun Home closes this weekend at the Public Theater. Based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, this unusual show is set in a funeral home and follows Alison (played by three actresses of different ages) as she comes to terms with her troubled family life and the death of her closeted father. We’ve heard rumors of an eventual Broadway transfer, but head Home, if you can, to see it off-Broadway. ALSO: Stage vets Meryl Streep, Oscar Isaac and more vie for 2014 Golden Globes on NBC; Breakfast with Mugabe reopens on Theatre Row; Peter and the Starcatcher plays its last magical performance at New World Stages; Tony nominee Victor Garber portrays a judge on The Good Wife. TUESDAY, JANUARY 7 DEPP V. DEPP Ladies, ladies, please! There’s enough Johnny Depp to go around. In fact, two movies’ worth, as Paramount releases a delightful double feature of Sweeney Todd and Sleepy Hollow. Depp might not sing Sondheim in Tim Burton’s Washington Irving adaptation, but things get just as creepy as in Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop. (Bonus casting: Christopher Walken as the Headless Horseman.) Meanwhile, don’t miss Depp’s Oscar-nominated confrontation with Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin. ALSO: Tom Wopat and Jennifer Laura Thompson both begin runs at 54 Below; the August: Osage County soundtrack is released. THURSDAY, JANUARY 9 RICHIE…RICHIE BLAKEY Broadway can’t take its eyes off of Richard J. Blake! The musical vet is jumping from playing multiple roles in Matilda to Four Seasons bad boy Tommy DeVito in the long-running hit Jersey Boys. You’ve seen Blake all over the Great White Way in Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer, Wicked and more, and he’s perfectly cast as the pride of Belleville, New Jersey. See Blake and the rest of the Seasons at the August Wilson Theatre. Jessie Mueller So, you’re trying to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, but take a pause from that juice cleanse long enough to check out what’s happening on and off Broadway this week! The Yankees round the bases of the Great White Way, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical makes Broadway feel like a natural woman and Fun Home plays its final show at the Public. It’ll be easy to keep your resolution to see more theater in 2014, because we’ve got the hottest NYC happenings in this week’s Datebook. ALSO: Travis Moser headlines This Can’t Be Love: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart with Rocky’s Samantha Shafer at 54 Below; Scarlett Johansson talks Don Jon and Her with David Letterman; William H. Macy stops by Late Night With Jimmy Fallon; Chicago’s Ute Lemper returns to 54 Below. Christopher Jackson MONDAY, JANUARY 6 TAKIN’ IT BACK TO THE OLD SCHOOL Ann Morrison, Broadway’s original Mary Flynn from Merrily We Roll Along, is telling all in her Studio 54 show Now You Know: An Evening of Steve, Lenny—and Annie. The Broadway vet will be “opening doors” to the songs of Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein for one night only, and you won’t want to miss the behind-the-scenes stories she and special guest Liz Callaway have to offer. FRIDAY, JANUARY 10 IT AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER The boys in pinstripes are coming to Broadway in Eric Simonson’s new Yankee-centric drama Bronx Bombers. The show follows Yogi Berra (Peter Scolari) as he meets up with other famous players throughout the 20th century and rediscovers what it means to be a teammate. Catch the ballers hit a home run for the first time tonight at Circle in the Square Theatre. Go Yankees! Tom Wopat ALSO: Mx. Justin Vivian Bond stars in A Man’s a Man at Classic Stage Company; August: Osage County opens across the country. View All (5) SUNDAY, JANUARY 12 TONIGHT THEY’RE YOURS COMPLETELY You will still love the cast of Beautiful: The Carole King musical tomorrow after opening night tonight! With Broadway.com’s sexiest man alive Jarrod Spector as Barry Mann, the oh-so-charming Jake Epstein as Carole King’s lover Gerry Goffin and Tony nominee Jessie Mueller as the pop maven herself, the show follows King’s rise from Brooklyn teen to chart-topping singer/songwriter. Star Files View Comments WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8 RUN, COLIN, RUN House of Cards’ Eshan Bay and Sheldon Best (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) star in off-Broadway’s The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. The play follows Colin (Best) as he tries to make a better life for himself by taking up long distance running, but in the process is exploited at the prison school he’s being forced to attend. Watch the drama unfold as previews begin at Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage 2. Jarrod Spector Peter Scolari
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Fast food employees rallying for higher wages. (Photo credit: Fast Food Forward Facebook Page)The New York Attorney General’s office confirmed Thursday that it is investigating fast-food restaurant worker complaints of wage thefts and has subpoenaed at least one parent corporation.Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigators are looking into several labor rights violations, including nonpayment of overtime, bounced paychecks and false payroll records, among other violations, according to his office.The AG’s probe comes on the same day that Fast Food Forward released a report suggesting pervasive wage abuse within the fast food restaurant industry. The study found that 84 percent of employees said they were victims of wage theft in the last year.“The findings in this report are deeply troubling and shed light on potentially broad labor violations by the fast food industry, which employs thousands of New Yorkers,” Damien LaVera, Schneiderman’s spokesperson, said in a statement. “New Yorkers expect companies doing business in our state to follow laws set up to protect working families.”A source said the state has been looking into these complaints for more than a year.“I work almost 80 hours a week usually, but [Kentucky Fried Chicken] doesn’t pay me overtime,” a KFC employee said in the report, according to MSNBC. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s what I have to do to make ends meet. I make $8.45 an hour, so this adds up to $170 in overtime pay that I don’t get.”Schneiderman’s office declined to identify the franchises involved in the probe, nor did it identify the parent company that has been subpoenaed as part of the investigation.Schneiderman is also reviewing whether fast food eateries failed to sufficiently reimburse employees for work-related expenses, such as delivery costs or uniforms and work that was completed while the employee wasn’t on the clock, according to his office.Employees who believe they were the victims of similar violations can contact the Labor Bureau at 212-416-6132 or download the “Fast Food Worker Complaint Form” from the AG’s website.
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The government is expediting imports of buffalo meat, garlic and sugar to stabilize prices in preparation for a surge in demand during this year’s Ramadan festivities that will start in late April amid the coronavirus outbreak, officials say.Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said on Friday the ministry had received a horticulture products import recommendation (RPIH) to import 90,000 tons of garlic, and would issue the import license for garlic in a matter of days.The decision came following a meeting with Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto and other related ministries and agencies in Jakarta. “At the meeting we decided to expedite staple product imports. We will improve interagency coordination [to speed up the process]”, he said.The decision was made in response to rising prices of staple ingredients. According to the Information Center for Strategic Food Prices (PIHPS), the price of garlic currently stands at Rp 46,000 (US$3.61) per kilogram, almost double the usual Rp 25,000 to Rp 30,000 per kg. Meanwhile, the local sugar price stood at Rp 16,000 per kg, above the usual Rp 12,000 to Rp 14,000.Rising garlic prices pushed up the volatile food inflation rate to 6.68 percent in February and the inflation rate to 2.98 percent from 2.68 percent in January, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS).Indonesia produces 85,000 tons of garlic annually, which equates to only 10 percent of domestic demand. As such, the country has long relied on garlic imports from China, the world’s leading garlic producer. Read also: Garlic stock will only suffice until April without Chinese importsLast year, Indonesia imported around 465,000 tons of garlic with an import value of nearly US$530 million, BPS data shows. In 2018, Indonesia imported 582,994 tons of garlic, of which 580,845 tons came from China.Talk in the market suggests the garlic price surge has been caused by diminishing supplies from China due to the coronavirus outbreak and the severe drought that hit Indonesia in 2019. However, the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) has dismissed these claims, arguing that the cause of the scarcity was slow import realization, which had been a problem before the virus outbreak.Read also: Rising garlic price cannot be blamed on coronavirus: Business watchdogFood Resilience Agency (BKP) head Agung Hendriadi previously said that the government was seeking to import garlic from countries other than China, as the COVID-19 outbreak had pummeled the country’s trade and economic activity.The pneumonia-like illness has infected more than 106,000 people and killed more than 3,600 around the world.Agung warned that Indonesia’s garlic stocks had fallen to 80,000 tons as of Feb. 27. With the country consuming 46,000 tons of garlic per month on average, current stocks will suffice until only April.The 90,000 ton import recommendation for garlic is higher than the previous import permit letters issued by the ministry for 62,000 tons, but still below the 103,000 tons recommended by the Agriculture Ministry.Besides garlic, imports of buffalo meat and sugar are also to be expedited, the State Logistics Agency’s (Bulog) business and industrial development director Bachtiar said.“We are planning to import around 25,000 tons of buffalo meat, which will enter the market in April,” he said.Bachtiar claimed that according to Bulog’s records, 1,000 tons of meat remained in stock, which would be enough to supply the market until the imported meat arrived.Bulog’s also received an import quota of 29,750 tons for raw sugar, as local supplies of white crystallized sugar have begun to dwindle.The severe drought of 2019 caused delays to the sugar cane milling period, which has disrupted market supplies.“We also received an import quota for 29,750 tons of raw sugar, and will announce the tender for sugar import immediately,” Bachtiar said. The sugar will be imported from neighboring countries such as Australia, India and Thailand, he added.In total, the government plans to import more than 400,000 tons of raw sugar to meet local demand, Agus said.Read also: Indonesia may import extra 130,000 tons of sugar from India to meet demand The price of sugar in traditional markets had shot up to Rp 15,800 per kg as of Friday according to the PIHPS, exceeding the consumer reference price of Rp 12,500 stipulated under Trade Ministerial Regulation No.7/2020 on reference prices.While the price of sugar continues to rise, the prices of garlic and beef have decreased slightly recently from the high levels seen in February.The price of garlic stood at Rp 45,700 per kg as of Friday after doubling to Rp 50,450 per kg from normal levels in February. The price of beef rose to Rp 117,800 per kg from Rp 118,100 in February, compared with normal levels of below Rp 110,000 per kg. (mpr/eyc)Topics :
The government has projected the budget deficit to reach Rp 971.2 trillion, or 5.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), in 2021 as the government looks to continue its stimulus spending to support economic recovery. The government plans to issue more sovereign debt papers (SBN), global bonds, retail bonds and sharia-compliant bonds to fund the deficit.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Aug. 14 that the government would continue to work with the central bank and allow it to buy government bonds directly at auctions as a standby buyer.Perry assured that the central bank would have the capacity to be the standby buyer next year because it had only bought a total of Rp 42.96 trillion (US$2.91 billion) in government bonds from the market since April.“The figure is only a small fraction of the total amount of government bonds issued to the market,” he said. Bank Indonesia (BI) has expressed its commitment to continue its role as a standby buyer for government bonds until 2021 to help fund the state budget deficit during the pandemic.BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Wednesday that the central bank would continue its role as a non-competitive bidder in government bond auctions next year, while assuring that it would have the capacity to do so.“We will only bid when the market is not capable of absorbing [the bonds]. We will have further discussion with the Finance Minister on the market capacity and the government funding strategy,” he said during a livestreamed press briefing. Data from the Finance Ministry’s financing and risk management office show that the government issued a total of Rp 630.5 trillion in government bonds in the first half of this year, or 41.2 percent of the total gross issuance in 2020, Kontan reported.Read also: Government to offer $62.3b in bonds in H2 to finance coronavirus fightPerry also announced that the central bank’s board of governors had decided to maintain its benchmark interest rate — the seven-day reverse repo rate — at 4 percent after lowering it four times this year by a total of 100 basis points (bps). Lending and deposit facility rates were also kept at 3.25 and 4.75 percent, respectively.“The decision is consistent with maintaining external stability amid low inflation that is expected to persist until the end of the year,” he said, adding that BI expected inflation to fall at around 2 percent this year.BI is also committed to continuing its quantitative easing by providing liquidity for banks by lowering the average primary reserve requirement (GWM), and for the government by being a standby buyer and participating in bond private placement.In a burden-sharing scheme agreement with the government, the central bank has purchased the government bonds through a private offering. The one-off policy that was only agreed for this year was aimed to help finance the widening budget deficit that was caused by the government’s COVID-19 response.“So far, we’ve bought Rp 82.1 trillion worth of government bonds through private placement,” he said.Read also: Bank Indonesia buys $5.6b in govt bonds in burden-sharing schemeMirae Asset Sekuritas economist Anthony Kevin lauded the government’s decision to allow BI continue its role as standby buyer as it could help to improve market confidence in government funding next year.He also said BI’s call to maintain the rate at 4 percent was the “correct call” despite wide-open room for another round of policy rate cuts.“I believe BI should refrain from [lowering rates] to maintain the interest rate differential in order to keep the rupiah on the appreciation path against the US dollar,” he said.He also added that the high trade balance surplus, low inflation and narrowing current account deficit could also help strengthen the rupiah against the greenback to Rp 14,400 per US dollar by the end of the year.The rupiah closed at Rp 14,770 per US dollar on Wednesday, 0.4 percent stronger than the day before. However, it has depreciated more than 1 percent over the past month.Trimegah Sekuritas economist Fakhrul Fulvian said the central bank’s decision to maintain rates would help to appreciate the rupiah since fears over huge monetary expansion could hamper recovery of the currency.Although he agreed that BI would receive a positive response from the market for its plan to continue as a standby buyer, he said it would ultimately depend on the central bank’s exit strategy from the burden to support the government.“It’s very important for BI to communicate to the market on its exit strategy once the economy recovers from the crisis,” he said.Topics :