VP calls for making demographic bonus a positive factor

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla has said a demographic bonus can have a positive impact on the national development but only if correct economic policies are put in place.

"A demographic bonus can lead to a positive impact if we balance it with development and progress in the fields of agriculture and industry," he said here on Monday.

He explained that the growth of population in a country may not always prove to be a burden as long as its government is able to implement a development policy. In this regard, he referred to certain examples, citing a number of countries such as China and Singapore.

"Chinas huge population used to be considered a burden but now that country is aware that the earlier perception was wrong and takes an opposite stance, since it knows that the huge population could be made productive and at the same time become consumers," he said.

India has also based its policy on the same idea that a large population could be made an asset that works in favor of the countrys development.

Singapore used to give incentive to a mother who decided not to have children but now it provides an allowance for mothers who would have children, he said.

"That is a risk faced by any country. Policies that are adopted always have an impact," he said.

In view of that, he hoped that the huge population of Indonesia must become a factor in pushing for national development.

"We must turn the 255 million population of the country into a workforce with high productivity and, at the same time, consumers. It all depends upon how we can manage the population to make it an asset rather than a liability," he said.

Coordinating Minister for Human Empowerment and Culture, Puan Maharani, said the rate of population growth in Indonesia is still high, standing at 4.5 million births per year.

"That has been the average figure over the past 10 years. Unless it is controlled by 2035, the countrys population could reach 450 million, she said.

Citing the implications of this increase in population, she said the government has to make efforts to meet their needs of housing, food, health service and others, she said.(*)