Govt to provide aid to 13.8 mln low-wage workers in Q3

Govt to provide aid to 13.8 mln low-wage workers in Q3

Chief of the Task Force for National Economic Transformation and Recovery (PEN), Budi Gunadi Sadikin. (ANTARA/Aji Cakti/sh)

The first phase of the aid will be disbursed in the third quarter and the second phase in the fourth quarter
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Formal workers with an income of less than Rp5 million per month will receive government aid in the third quarter of this year, according to the Task Force for National Economic Transformation and Recovery (PEN).

The aid, which will be disbursed under the first phase of the latest government stimulus for formal workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, will reach recipients by September at the latest, it revealed.The aid will be distributed to those workers who are registered on the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) database and who are not civil servants or employees of state-owned enterprises.

Under the program, about 13.8 million workers will receive Rp600 thousand per month for four months this year, which will be disbursed in two stages.

"The first phase of the aid will be disbursed in the third quarter and the second phase in the fourth quarter," chief of the task force, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said at an online press conference at the Presidential Office here on Friday.

Sadikin said the aid is aimed at formal workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who are yet to be covered by the government's social safety net program. Many of them have been forced to take unpaid leave, while others have faced salary cuts due to slowing business.

Earlier, the government had provided social assistance for low income households affected by the pandemic through the Family Hope Program (PKH), Basic Needs Card, cash transfer (BLT), village fund cash transfer, and interest rate subsidy for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).

According to Sadikin, who is concurrently the Deputy Minister of State Enterprises, the government has provided social assistance to 29 million of the poorest families, or about 120 million people.

In addition, the government has launched a Pre-Employment Card for laid-off workers.

"We see that this group of workers (formal workers) is yet to be covered by those programs. The President has instructed (us) to design a program to help these workers," he added.

The task force has identified about 13.8 million formal workers who are eligible for the aid, and the government has allocated Rp33.1 trillion in funds for the relief program.

“We are cooperating with the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan, we have browsed the data and identified formal (workers) with salaries lower than Rp5 million per month, most of them with salaries between Rp2 million to Rp3 million. There are 13.8 million of such workers, and they are not SOEs employees nor civil servants, who did not face salary slashing, Alhamdulillah (thank God),” he elaborated.

The aid is expected to improve people's purchasing power, which could help stimulate economic activity, Sadikin explained.  

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