Jakarta (ANTARA) - The fuel direct cash assistance (BLT BBM) policy has succeeded in preventing an increase in the poverty rate in Indonesia, according to expert staff at the Presidential Staff Office (KSP), Abraham Wirotomo.

This has been reflected by the poverty rate in September 2022, which remained at 9.57 percent even though it was predicted to rise to 11 percent amid soaring global fuel prices.

"Based on existing data and studies, the BLT BBM policy has succeeded in maintaining the poverty rate, which has become a concern for many parties," he said in a statement received here on Thursday.

Earlier, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) informed that the percentage of poor in September 2022 stood at around 9.57 percent, or 26.36 million, an increase of 0.03 percent or 0.20 million from March the same year.

Wirotomo said he is optimistic that the poverty rate will continue to decline in 2023 because Indonesia's economic conditions have continued to grow positively.

Moreover, the government has succeeded in controlling the pandemic and revoked the policy of community activities restrictions (PPKM).

In addition, the government has prepared several social assistance programs for vulnerable communities. In the near future, namely in the first quarter of 2023, the Ministry of Social Affairs will distribute basic food items for 18.8 million families and family hope program (PKH) for 10 million families, he informed.

"The number of social assistance beneficiaries is similar to the previous year. So, even though we no longer have PPKM, the amount of social assistance remains the same with the PPKM period," he explained.

Wirotomo also warned about the geopolitical and global economic crisis, which will still pose a threat in 2023.

"The government has prepared various steps to anticipate these conditions in an effort to reduce the burden and the number of poor people," he disclosed.

Related news: Pos Indonesia ensures punctual social aid disbursement in 3T areas
Related news: Fuel cash aid provided to 98.1% beneficiaries in Yogyakarta

Translator: Rangga Pandu A J, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2023