Jakarta (ANTARA) - Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (PDTT) Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar stated that the construction of village roads using Village Funds for the 2015-2023 period was able to increase the economy of villagers.

"Throughout the period, the construction of village roads funded by the Village Fund has succeeded in increasing the people's economy as well as equalizing the economy, especially for the lower middle class," he noted in Jakarta on Thursday.

Iskandar remarked that the increase in the villagers' economy was apparent from an increase in the proportion of expenditure of the lowest 40-percent class in the village up to 0.64 percent, and 40 percent of the middle class up 1.44 percent, whereas expenditure of the top 20 percent of the class fell 2.08 percent.

He stated that the increase in the proportion of village residents' expenditures also showed that the allocation of village funds was right on target and in accordance with the village needs.

"The Village Fund that originated from the state budget was specifically transferred directly from the state treasury account to the village treasury account. The State then opens up space for village people's participation to independently determine the use of Village Funds. Therefore, the type of expenditure is appropriate to the needs of the village people," the minister remarked.

He said that in 2015, villagers decided to build 30,787 kilometers of village roads, while in 2016, they built 60,762 kilometers.

Thereafter, in 2017, they built 61,793 kilometers of village roads, 38,259 kilometers in 2018, and 40,109 kilometers in 2019, he noted.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, villages in Indonesia had continued to build 30,168 kilometers of village roads, while in 2021, they constructed 46,612 kilometers, and in 2022, they developed 3,166 kilometers of village roads.

Earlier, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR) Muhaimin Iskandar said the Village Fund had a huge impact on society and was able to build Indonesia from the peripheral areas.

"We can see what the village has done during the COVID-19 pandemic, where social assistance was disbursed quickly and was right on target through village funds," he remarked.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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