You do not need to implement too many programs.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged ministries, institutions, and local governments to focus budget utilization on programs that benefit the community rather than on financing the bureaucratic process of the programs.

"Every cent of the people's money (tax collected from the people) must be able to be enjoyed by them (through government programs), not for funding the (bureaucratic) process," he stressed.

He delivered the remarks on Monday at the State Palace here, where he received an unqualified opinion (WTP) on the 2022 Central Government Financial Report (LKPP) from Head of the State Audit Board (BPK) Isma Yatun.

The President pushed all ministries, agencies, and local governments to improve the quality of their spending.

Several regions were found to have used their budgets inefficiently because a huge portion of the budget ceiling was allocated toward meeting employee expenses, such as salaries, meetings, and duty travel, instead of the actual implementation of the programs, he highlighted.

He said that one regional government—without mentioning which one—allocated a duty travel expenditure ceiling of up to Rp1 billion (US$66.34 thousand) for an agricultural dissemination program, which had a total budget allocation of Rp1.5 billion (US$99.52 thousand).

This indicates that more than 50 percent of the total budget for the program was utilized just for duty travel.

"We must continue to improve the accountability and quality of spending. Implement the programs well and continuously monitor as well as evaluate them. Thus, the outcome of the programs can truly benefit the people," Widodo said.

Overhead costs must not exceed 20–25 percent of the total budget, he added.

Furthermore, he emphasized that the focus of the state budget and regional budget utilization must be achieving the goals and results of the programs.

The President also asked all ministries, institutions, and local governments to utilize and absorb domestic products in implementing their programs.

"You do not need to implement too many programs. You should only focus on priority programs, such as stunting handling, poverty alleviation, increasing farmer and fishermen productivity, controlling inflation, and encouraging investment," he added.

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Translator: Indra Pribadi, Uyu Liman
Editor: Sri Haryati
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