Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called on the Financial and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP) to direct expenditures of government ministries and agencies and regional authorities for concrete and productive outcomes.

While opening the 2023 National Working Meeting on Government Internal Supervision here on Wednesday, the president stressed that central and regional authorities should shun absurd and vague programs with no concrete results.

"Be straightforward, (as the program) is to provide work capital, to buy production machines, or for marketing, (so) as to develop MSMEs. (Hence) we should focus on those programs or exhibitions, which are concrete. This is BPKP's duty and work orientation," Jokowi stated.

Despite frequent on-site supervision to monitor policies of the central and regional governments, Jokowi admitted to still having found several programs that he considered unproductive and not yielding concrete results.

The president remarked that in one case, he found that most of the Home Ministry's Rp10 billion (US$670 thousand) budget to address stunting issues had been utilized for irrelevant expenditures instead of concrete actions to help stunted children recover.

The president noted that at least Rp8 billion (US$536 thousand) of the budget ought to be disbursed for concrete actions to address stunting issues, such as the provision of nutritional foods for residents.

"After examining how they use the Rp10 billion for stunting programs, I found that Rp3 billion (US$201 thousand) was used for official visits, Rp3 billion for meetings, and Rp2 billion (US$134 thousand) for development improvement, and barely Rp2 billion used to buy eggs. How the stunting issue would resolve if we continue this way? We need to change it all," Jokowi expounded.

The president also drew attention to another case of ineffective budget use in MSME development and agriculture assistance programs.

"(For instance), hall construction (program) to develop and rehabilitate a hall -- it is concrete. The budget is Rp1 billion, and of this small budget, we ought to use Rp900 million for the rehab," Jokowi remarked.

"However, after we examined it in detail, we found that Rp734 million had been used for honorariums, meetings, and official visits -- almost 80 percent (of the budget). We cannot continue this way," he stressed.

Understanding the complexity of the issue, Jokowi said that the BPKP would face an arduous task to reform budget realization in government programs to ensure their effectiveness.

"State and regional budgets are for productive (purposes), and the BPKP can also reach the province, district, and municipal levels. This means they can monitor and direct. National and local officials felt unease with the BPKP. Use this as leverage for the nation's interests," Jokowi remarked.

Related news: Saved trillions in govt funds in three years: BPKP
Related news: OJK, BPKP boost cooperation for stronger financial services monitoring
Related news: BPKP prioritizes monitoring seven strategic sectors in 2023

Translator: Indra Arief P, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2023