Jokowi orders prompt distribution of social safety net allowance

Jokowi orders prompt distribution of social safety net allowance

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). (Handout Biro Pers Setpres/Kris)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has instructed that social safety net funds, amounting to Rp110 trillion, be immediately distributed to help fulfill the basic requirements of those at the grassroots level during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Since these programs are important for the people, I order that their distribution be done as soon as possible, as quickly as possible, precisely and swiftly," the president stated while chairing a limited cabinet meeting on the Effectiveness of Social Safety Net Distribution Program held through videoconference from the Bogor Palace, West Java, on Tuesday.

The head of state noted that Rp110 trillion of funding had been allotted for social safety nets for those from the grassroots level to cater to their basic requirements and shop to maintain the purchasing power.

The government has, until now, increased the number of beneficiary families for the Family of Hope Program, from 9.2 million recipients to 10 million and has also ramped up the value of benefits by approximately 25 percent, in addition to expediting the distribution, from three months to once a month.

The number of beneficiaries for the basic staple food program was raised, from 15.2 million recipients to 20 million, and the funds were hiked by 30 percent, from Rp150 thousand to Rp200 thousand, offered for nine months.

The central and provincial governments are readying special social assistance for two months for the residents of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi in accordance with the emergency response period set by the COVID-19 task force.

Furthermore, the president has instructed the social affairs minister to distribute 200 thousand basic food packages in the Jakarta area and also pre-work cards from April 9, for which the budget was raised, from Rp10 trillion to Rp20 trillion, with beneficiaries reaching 5.6 million, especially those affected by layoffs, informal workers, and MSME actors impacted by COVID-19.

The government has also announced free electricity for 24 million 450 KVa customers and a 50-percent discount for seven million 900 KVa customers in April, May, and June.

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