Jakarta (ANTARA) - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati highlighted that volatile food price inflation was one of the government's focuses to control inflation to maintain the people's purchasing power.

"Apart from significantly contributing to core inflation, food volatility also affects people's purchasing power. The government will continue to formulate the steps in the State Budget as a shock absorber to maintain the people's purchasing power," the minister stated at the Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) press conference in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Indrawati remarked that the global economy is projected to decrease. The World Bank estimated that global economic growth will decline, from the previous three percent in 2022 to only 2.5 percent in 2023 and weaken to 2.4 percent in 2024. Hence, the situation in 2024 is weaker than that in 2023.

Hence, the government uses the State Budget as one of the instruments to control food volatility. The distribution of social assistance had reached Rp476 trillion (US$29 billion) in 2023 and Rp496 trillion in 2024, the minister remarked.

According to Indrawati, these funds are used for various programs, such as the Family Hope Program (PKH) for 9.9 million beneficiary families (KPM) and Basic Food Cards for 18.7 million KPM.

The minister stated that the increase in the social assistance budget of Rp20 trillion had been discussed with the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) and approved as a State Budget Law.

Moreover, she emphasized that the State Budget's intervention in controlling volatile food prices was not solely carried out through the social assistance program. Interventions were also conducted through the food security budget that was recorded at Rp104.2 trillion in 2023 and Rp114.3 trillion this year.

The budget is used to increase production, boost the farmers' welfare, build agricultural infrastructure, develop production centers, and strengthen national food reserves, she remarked.

"We control volatile food prices not only by food aid but also by other tools in the State Budget," she remarked.

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Translator: Imamatul Silfia, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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