We have allocated a budget amounting to Rp476 trillion for social protection this year
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government will disburse Rp476 trillion for various social protection programs in order to maintain the purchasing power of the poor and vulnerable groups of people.

"We have allocated a budget amounting to Rp476 trillion for social protection this year," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani stated at the press conference in Jakarta, Wednesday.

Sri Mulyani elaborated that the budget allocation included the distribution of Rp28.7 trillion under the Family Hope Program (PKH) for 10 million beneficiary families (KPM) and the provision of social assistance through staple food cards for 18.8 million KPM worth Rp45.1 trillion.

The social protection program also includes energy and non-energy subsidies of Rp290.6 trillion for poor and vulnerable households; micro, small and, medium enterprises (MSMEs); farmers; and for public transportation as well as Rp46.5 trillion for recipients of the National Health Insurance (JKN) program reaching 96.8 million participants, she elaborated.

"The government will also assist 96.8 million underprivileged families to be able to gain access to health care through contributions to the National Health Insurance," she stated.

In addition, the government is distributing educational assistance worth Rp9.7 trillion through the Smart Indonesia Program for 20.1 million students and assistance amounting to Rp12.8 trillion for recipients of Indonesia Smart College Cards (Bidikmisi) reaching 994.3 thousand students, the minister remarked.

In a bid to control inflation and help those from the grassroots level meet their nutritional needs, the government added a social protection program in the form of food assistance, specifically rice assistance to 21.3 million KPM and chicken and egg protein package assistance to 1.4 million KPM, with stunted toddlers, with a total budget of Rp8.2 trillion, she stated.

"Some 21.3 million beneficiary families were given 10 kilograms of rice assistance (each KPM)," Sri Mulyani added.

The minister is optimistic that the distribution of various programs and strengthening of social assistance would be able to maintain household consumption, especially for people from the poor and vulnerable groups.

On the other hand, the government will also continue to use the state budget instrument to improve the capabilities and welfare of the community through other programs, such as infrastructure development and also programs for the MSME group, she noted.

Sri Mulyani remarked that the government continues to support and manage the momentum of economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic by using fiscal instruments in an expansive, targeted, and measurable manner.

"This is important because, at the same time, the world conditions are still very uncertain. It requires our ability to maintain our economic momentum," she emphasized.

In addition, she stated that the government continues to control inflation by maintaining the people's purchasing power through social protection policies also aimed at benefiting the community by providing further basic food assistance and additional food.

"We also continue to increase public consumption through various policies that can support their purchasing power," she concluded.

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Translator: Martha Herlinawati S, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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