"I hope the other districts and cities across Indonesia could follow the initiatives taken by the district government of West Sumbawa (to overcome poverty and develop local economy), at least in the West Nusa Tenggara province," Parawansa said, during the inauguration of the 723 agents of regional empowerment in mutual cooperation in West Sumbawa district, on Thursday.
The minister lauded the government for issuing cards of Pariri and Bariri to distribute social assistance to the society.
Pariri card is given to the elderly and disabled people, while Bariri card covers aid in the form of business capital with no interest, provides fishing equipment for fishermen, and so forth.
The district government of West Sumbawa has involved four banks, namely Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Mandiri, Bank Nasional Indonesia, and Bank Nusa Tenggara Barat, to support the Pariri and Bariri cards program.
"The efforts undertaken by the government of West Sumbawa are aligned with the national strategy of inclusive finance outlined by the president in which the distribution of assistance involves banking," Parawansa stated.
She added that the implementation of social assistance distribution by using the cards is not at odds with the central governments programs, such as social assistance for people with disability and aid for the elderly through the state budget. Instead, these cards are useful to expand the governments services to the poor through the regional budget.
"Hence, those who are not yet covered by the program (of social assistance distribution) provided by the central government could be reached by the local government. Synergy between central and regional governments will help accelerate the reduction of poverty in Indonesian regions," she stated.
Head of West Sumbawa district W Musyarifin said the program is an effort to educate the society to save their money and have responsible, disciplined, and honest attitudes.
The involvement of banking in the program was intended to enable more effective and targeted distribution of social aid.
On her working visit to West Sumbawa, the minister also handed over Rp21.2 billion social aid to West Sumbawa district, consisting of the Family Hope Program (PKH), social assistance for the elderly, social aid for people with disabilities, social rice assistance for the poor, and domestic grant assistance.
Social rice assistance for the poor reached up to Rp13.8 billion and would be earmarked for 10,096 families. Assistance under the PKH reached Rp7.2 billion for 4,006 families, while domestic grant assistance reached Rp78 million.
"Grand total of social assistance disbursed by government to the 10 districts in West Nusa Tenggara reached up to Rp950 billion," she affirmed.
(Reported by Sigit Pinardi/Uu.M052/INE/KR-BSR/H-YH)