Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) appealed to all ministerial ranks to channel the 2023 state budget into productive activities, especially pertaining to job creation.

"The 2023 state budget must be focused on productive activities, especially in the context of job creation and poverty alleviation," the head of state noted during a plenary cabinet meeting at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Monday.

Apart from productive programs, the 2023 state budget is also focused on completing national priority programs, such as reducing stunting rates, lowering extreme poverty, and the agenda ahead of the 2024 Election, he remarked.

Based on this directive, the president urged the relevant ministries to encourage local governments to use village funds to boost the regional economy.

"Do not let the transferred funds go to waste without having an effect to boost the economy in the region," he emphasized.

The head of state also remarked that the use of the regional budget must be in line with the state budget that focuses on national priority programs, such as the people's economy, exports, and investment.

In his opening remarks at the plenary cabinet session, the president delivered an evaluation of the 2022 national economy.

According to the president, the government managed to achieve positive results amid external pressure in the turbulent year of 2022, such as economic growth that was projected to lie in the range of around 5.2 to 5.3 percent, to inflation that can still be controlled at the level of 5.5 percent.

Jokowi views that 2023 will not be an easy year since several major countries, such as the European Union, China, and the United States, are experiencing economic downturns due to increasing geopolitical pressure.

"Based on the prediction, I think all sectors will weaken even though our exports to these countries are very large. Hence, we have to be careful," he affirmed.

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Translator: Mentari Dwi G, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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