Banjarmasin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Indonesian Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita has outlined a target to bring down the country's poverty rate to nine percent of its population at the end of 2019, from 9.66 percent a year earlier.

"Data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) show the poverty rate stood at 9.66 percent in September 2018 and fell to 9.41 percent in April 2019. We have targeted to lower it to nine percent at the end of 2019," he remarked in Banjarmasin, the capital of South Kalimantan Province, on Wednesday.

Kartasasmita made the remarks after giving directives to the participants of an education and training course and meeting to improve families' capability (P2K2) and family development session (FDS) for the e-learning Family Hope Program.

The poverty rate recorded at 9.41 percent, or 25 million people, in April 2019 is relatively high. However, the minister is optimistic of reducing it at the end of 2019.

"We have set ourselves the target of lowering the poverty rate to nine percent in 2020. As the social affairs minister, I will certainly be proud if the poverty rate could be curbed to six percent in 2024," he emphasized.

In line with the decline in poverty rate, the inequality rate, or Gini ratio, plunged to 0.381 in April 2019, from 0.384 in September 2018, he pointed out.

The amount of social assistance fund has steadily increased since the early days of the President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration. Budget appropriated for social assistance swelled to Rp55 trillion, from Rp19 trillion in 2017 and further rose to Rp59 trillion in 2019.

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Translator: Ulul Maskuriah, Yose Rizal, Su
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti
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