Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Muhadjir Effendy on Thursday clarified that the social protection fund (Perlinsos) of Rp490 trillion (US$31.43 billion) is not exclusively meant for poorer residents.

Though it has been implemented by the government, the social protection fund program differs from the social assistance (Bansos) program for poorer residents, he stressed.

"The social protection fund includes subsidies: fuel subsidy, cooking gas subsidy, fertilizer subsidy, as well as microcredit interest subsidy," Effendy said after attending a ministerial-level meeting on poverty eradication/alleviation at the Vice Presidential Palace here on Thursday.

However, residents often mix up the Perlinsos and Bansos programs though social assistance is a part of the social protection fund program, he noted.

The minister explained that the Rp490-trillion Perlinsos fund has been allocated by the Finance Ministry, while the Rp97-trillion (US$6.22 billion) Bansos program is being run by the Social Affairs Ministry for poorer residents.

The social assistance program can also be complemented by similar programs initiated by other ministries, such as the Rp190-trillion (US$12.19 billion) food resilience program.

"The social protection fund program is funded by the Rp490 trillion budget, and not all of its programs (under it) are for the poorer residents. We should emphasize on this aspect," Effendy said.

Residents should be made aware of the differences between the Perlinsos and Bansos programs to prevent any misperceptions, especially as the government is working to bring down the national poverty rate to 7.5 percent and eradicate extreme poverty this year, he added.
The coordinating minister also urged journalists to not make mistakes while reporting on social protection funds to prevent misperceptions about poverty eradication among the public.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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