The increase in the social protection budget is the result of the expansion and extension of the social protection program in response to the enforcement of public activity restrictions (PPKM) from July 3, 2021, head of the Fiscal Policy Board at the Finance Ministry, Febrio Kacaribu, said in a written statement released on Monday.
"The extension and expansion (of the program) will help the public withstand the current situation," he added.
The increase in the social protection budget will be used to subsidize electricity bills of households consuming 450-900 volt ampere (VA) of electricity until December this year, instead of September, as originally planned, he informed.
The subsidy on the base drinking water bills of 1.14 million business subscribers will also be extended until December, 2021, he added.
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Meanwhile, the internet quota subsidy for students, teachers, and lecturers, which was originally planned to end in May, 2021, will also be extended until December, Kacaribu said.
In addition, the government will expand the coverage of the social protection program with the help of the additional budget , including extending the basic necessity card program to 18.8 million beneficiary families during the July-August 2021 period, he added. As such, the recipients will enjoy the benefit of the basic necessity cards for 14 months, he pointed out.
The social protection aid will also include rice assistance of 10 kilogram from the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) for each of the 28.8 million beneficiary families and cash assistance for 5.9 million beneficiary families, other than basic necessity card recipients and social assistance recipients, for six months, he said.
The outreach of the pre-employment card program will also be expanded to cover 2.8 million more participants, he added.
The government will also raise the number of micro businesses receiving productive assistance by 3 million, he further said. The assistance is expected to be disbursed between July and September, 2021, he added.
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