Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration, Abdul Halim Iskandar, has urged village-owned enterprises (BUMDes) to perform their duty of improving villagers' livelihoods.

"I urge BUMDes to cooperate with any relevant stakeholders, but we should not neglect the principal purpose of BUMDes to elevate villagers' livelihood instead of only increasing villages' revenue, and we must ensure that this goal is fulfilled," the minister said in a written statement received in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Besides profitability, village-owned enterprises must continue their mission to enhance villagers' livelihood by developing economic productivity in the village, he added.

Iskandar reiterated the ministry's commitment to supporting village enterprises' efforts to expand their market and reach greater market penetration by collaborating with local institutions and private enterprises.

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BUMDes have an essential purpose as the national economic foundation, optimizing villagers' resources and obtaining revenue for villagers, hence village-owned enterprises' collaboration with relevant stakeholders is important, he explained.

The minister expressed the hope the current cooperation with the non-governmental organization Indonesian Social Sustainability Forum (ISSF) would augment the role of BUMDes and joint BUMDes in village development and national economic recovery.

The BUMDes and joint BUMDes are eligible for registering as legal entities with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, he said.

The legal recognition would allow village enterprises to cooperate with other legal business entities, such as public limited companies and co-operatives, and also open access to apply for government or banking credit schemes, he added.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of ISSF, Sudarmanto, said that the organization's 207 members from state-owned and private companies are ready to collaborate with village enterprises.

"We are ready to open our doors for cooperation with village-owned enterprises," Sudarmanto, who is also representing mining company PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) in the organization, said.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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