"In terms of work programs, quite a substantial amount of budget was allocated up until today, with the amount having reached Rp104 trillion," Minister of Social Affairs, Juliari Batubara, stated during a virtual discussion session with reporters in the field in Jakarta, Friday.
Batubara pointed to the budget hike of Rp40 trillion that will be raised again to Rp120 trillion until December 2020.
"The Ministry of Social Affairs' budget had become the second-largest after the Ministry of Defense, from initially being the sixth-largest," he remarked.
With this substantial amount of budget, the workload of the Social Affairs Ministry too has increased mainly in connection with the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Social Affairs is tasked with distributing social assistance, in addition to regular social assistance, such as the Family Hope Program (PKH) and Non-Cash Food Assistance (BPNT), as well as special assistance for those affected by COVID-19.
The special assistance comprises basic food requirements worth Rp600 thousand, distributed monthly for a three-month period from April to June to 1.2 million beneficiaries in the Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi area. Moreover, Cash Social Assistance (BST) of the same value is intended for nine million people affected by COVID-19 outside the Jabodetabek area. (INE).
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