State budget still has room for social protection funding: Economist

State budget still has room for social protection funding: Economist

Budget illustration. (ist)

First of all is a budget surplus worth Rp136 trillion until June 2021. The rest of the budget can be utilized to boost cash social aid and wages subsidy aid.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - State budget still has some room for reallocation to increase social protection funding, Director of the Center of Economic and Law Studies (Celios) Bhima Yudhistira stated.

"First of all is a budget surplus worth Rp136 trillion until June 2021. The rest of the budget can be utilized to boost cash social aid and wages subsidy aid," Yudhistira told ANTARA here on Friday.

Bhima suggested that the government raise the social protection funding to slacken economic stagnation in the third quarter of 2021 owing to the implementation of public activity restriction (PPKM) level 4 in order to stem the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to the budget surplus, Yudhistira opined that the government can reallocate infrastructure budget amounting to Rp417 trillion.

"Most of it can be allocated to the priority budget," he noted.

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Furthermore, the government can cut down on bureaucratic spending, from employee to goods spending.

"In 2021, the allocation for employee spending had reached Rp421 trillion, while it had reached Rp363 trillion for goods spending . During the long period from 2014 to 2021, employee spending had risen by 73 percent, while goods spending climbed by 105 percent," he expounded.

The government can also renegotiate debt interest burden with creditors to lower the debt interest spending that had reached Rp373 trillion in 2021, Yudhistira stated.

He noted that all the budget reallocation can then be channeled to social aid. Yudhistira suggested that social aid recipients be expanded to 15 to 25 million families, with Rp1-1.5 million for each kin.

On the similar lines, economist from University of Indonesia Teuku Riefky also suggested the government to expand the scope of the social protection policy to help workers terminated from their companies.  

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