"After we can prove that the village fund was given to illegitimate villages, we will revoke (the budget). If we already transfer the fund (to the ghost village) then we will take it back," Indrawati said during the socialization of the village fund 2020 in Jakarta on Thursday.
Indrawati said her ministry has worked closely with the Home Ministry and the Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, to rearrange a database on the recipients of village funds and to investigate the case.
She called on regional leaders to be more cautious about the condition of their respective regions, especially regarding the management of the village fund.
"It is the regional government who should know about the condition. We hope that regional leaders have good knowledge about the villages in their regions," she noted.
The minister called for a synergy between the central government and regional government to supervise the disbursement of the fund.
Previously, Indrawati in a meeting with Commission XI of the House of Representatives revealed the existence of a ghost village with no residents that also received the village fund.
The government has been allocating Rp1 billion (US$71,000) annually for every village in the country since 2015 to ensure equal development levels in the regions.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he would deal with those misallocating village funds.
“We will chase (the perpetrator) until they get caught,” he said.
The village funds program, which has provided between Rp800 million ($56,200) and Rp1 billion to more than 70,000 villages across the archipelago, is a flagship policy of Jokowi’s administration.
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