This is ensure that the economy can move
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo emphasized that social assistance to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic should be disbursed swiftly and precisely to the people in dire need.

"The implementation should be right on target. Data of the beneficiary groups is also by name and address, so that it is precise and accurate. Neighborhood units and community unit heads, village heads, and local governments should be involved in the disbursement of social assistance," President Widodo remarked while opening a limited teleconference meeting at the Bogor Presidential Palace, Tuesday.

The head of state also requested that assistance through social safety net intervention should be disbursed quickly, by circumventing difficult bureaucratic processes.

Widodo urged ministries to ensure that benefits from the social assistance program should also be felt by micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); groceries traders at traditional markets; and motorbike transportation businesses.

"This is ensure that the economy can move," he stated.

Overall, in a bid to address the socioeconomic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, the government has readied Rp110 trillion as a social safety net that prioritizes people from the lower economic segments.

The social safety net comprises expanding the number of beneficiary families for the Family Hope Program (PKH), from 9.2 million recipients to 10 million, with the value of benefits being increased by 25 percent, and the disbursement mechanism to become monthly, from once in three months.

"The number of recipients for the basic food card was raised, from 15.2 million to 20 million beneficiaries and whose value was increased by 30 percent, from Rp150 thousand to Rp200 thousand and given over nine months," Jokowi revealed.

For the Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi (Greater Jakarta) area, the government is also readying special social assistance for 3.7 million families. Jabodetabek is a region vulnerable to positive cases of COVID-19, especially Jakarta, with the highest number in Indonesia.

"As much as 1.1 million was distributed by the Jakarta provincial government and 2.6 million was prepared by the central government for two months in accordance with the emergency response period stipulated by the COVID-19 Task Force," he noted.

The president has also ordered Minister of Social Affairs Juliari Batubara to distribute 200 thousand food packages in the Greater Jakarta area. Moreover, a pre-work card stimulus will be offered since April 9, 2020, with the Pre-Work Card budget being increased to Rp20 trillion, from Rp10 trillion.


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Translator: Indra Arief, Azis K
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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