Government to disburse social aid earlier than scheduled

Government to disburse social aid earlier than scheduled

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (BEI), in Jakarta on Thursday (Jan 2, 2020). ANTARA/Dewa Wiguna.

The president has ordered the minister to use the fiscal instrument including social assistance as maximally as possible particularly in January to support the economy
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Budget allocations for social assistance will be disbursed earlier than scheduled in the first quarter of 2020 to maintain the people's purchasing power, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has assured. 'The President has ordered the minister to use the fiscal instrument including social assistance as maximally as possible particularly in January to support the economy," she said after attending the opening of trading at the Indonesia Stock Exchange in Jakarta Thursday.

The disbursement of social assistance will cover scheduled programs such as the Family Hope Program and subsidized rice for the poor as well as funding for villages.

The earlier-than-scheduled disbursement is aimed at enabling the people to withstand the challenge the global economy poses, she said.

Also, the disbursement is in anticipation of a rise in prices following the increase in cigarette excise and Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS) fees effective from January 1, 2020, she said.

Earlier, the government decided to raise cigarette excise by 23 percent and cigarette retail prices by 35 percent.

The government has taken the decision from the standpoint of the industry, labor and the agricultural sector, the minister said.  

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