Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The East Nusa Tenggara provincial, district, and city governments have prepared a total of Rp73.2 billion in social protection funds in a bid to contain the impact of the recent fuel price increase.

"All regional governments, both provincial government and (governments) of 22 districts/cities in East Nusa Tenggara, have allocated a minimum of two percent from the general transfer funds (DTU) for mandatory social protection expenditure, with a total value of Rp73.2 billion," Head of the Regional Office of the Directorate General of Treasury of East Nusa Tenggara Province Catur Ariyanto Widodo informed here on Thursday.

Under the Finance Minister’s Regulation Number 134 of 2022 concerning mandatory expenditure for handling inflation impacts for the 2022 fiscal year, local governments must allocate two percent of their general transfer funds for social protection, he noted.

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According to Widodo, the funds will be allocated for three months, from October to December 2022, to overcome the impact of inflation.

Regional governments could use the funds to provide social assistance to micro, small, and medium enterprises as well as motorcycle taxi drivers, provide transportation subsidies, and carry out other social protection programs, he said.

The Finance Ministry is monitoring the realization of social protection budget allocation and has asked regional governments to report on the budget realization monthly, he added.

He emphasized that it is important for regional governments to ensure the budget is utilized right on target and benefits the residents directly.

On September 3, the Indonesian government raised the price of subsidized Pertalite fuel from Rp7,650 per liter to Rp10 thousand per liter, subsidized diesel from Rp5,150 per liter to Rp6,800 per liter, and non-subsidized Pertamax from Rp12,500 to Rp14,500 per liter.

The price increase came into force after the government diverted fuel subsidies to provide social assistance since the spending on energy subsidies and energy compensation from the state budget had reached Rp502.4 trillion, with energy subsidies accounting for Rp208.9 trillion and energy compensation Rp293.5 trillion of the total figure.

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Translator: Aloysius Lewokeda, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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