Use of village funds prioritized for COVID-19 efforts: official

Use of village funds prioritized for COVID-19 efforts: official

Penajam Paser Utara District Government Secretary Tohar. (Antaranews/Novi Abdi)

Penajam, E Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government is prioritizing the use of village funds, allocated from state and regional budgets, for measures to prevent and control the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a government official said.

The central government has also declared the coronavirus outbreak a national disaster, which would affect all village administrations in the country, secretary of the Penajam Paser Utara District Administration, Tohar, said here on Saturday.

Therefore, all village administrations across the district have been ordered to make the necessary preparations in response to the Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Ministry's Regulation Number 6/2020, he noted.

Village administrations in Penajam Paser Utara District, East Kalimantan Province, will also need to adapt their budgets according to the central government's plan to reallocate a portion of the state budget for combating COVID-19, he stated.

The Indonesian Government has been working to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its social and economic impact on people from less-advantaged groups across the country.

Besides prioritizing the use of village funds, the Indonesian Government also plans to intensify manpower-intensive infrastructure projects in different parts of the country to generate employment for members of the low-income group.

The manpower-intensive infrastructure projects are aimed at maintaining the people's purchasing power, boosting economic growth, and distributing funds to villages and rural areas, Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimoeljono said recently.

While implementing the labor-intensive infrastructure projects to maintain purchasing power and reduce unemployment, social distancing measures would consistently be imposed to contain COVID-19 transmission.

The Public Works and Housing Ministry plans to expedite the realization of this year's labor-intensive projects, financed in cash, in 34 provinces across Indonesia, Hadimoeljono revealed.

With a total budget of Rp10 trillion, the projects cover seven programs, including the Irrigation System Accelerated Program (P3-TGAI), Socio-Economic Regional Infrastructure Development Program (PISEW), and Reduced, Reused, and Recycled Waste Management Sites (TPS3R), he added.

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