Poverty reduction program not routine job

Poverty reduction program not routine job

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (ANTARA/Andika Wahyu)

"I hope that the poverty alleviation program would not be considered as a business as usual."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that the government`s poverty reduction program was not a routine program so that it should be implemented seriously.

"I hope that the poverty alleviation program would not be considered as a business as usual. It should be carried out speedily and should show concrete results," the President said when he opened a cabinet ministers meeting on economic affairs here on Thursday.

He said the implementation of the poverty reduction program should be evaluated and the result should be taken as a reference to continue its implementation.

"With the result of an evaluation, an improvement and additional action plans should be made to continue the program," he said.

The president asked the cabinet ministers not to play game in carrying out the poverty reduction program. "The program needs our seriousness, hard work and concrete actions of us all," the president added.

On the occasion, the president also reprimanded ministers who were not yet able to overcome the soaring prices of garlic, onions and beef.

The head of state asked the ministers not to blame each others but they should take the correct steps and find solutions.

"I have not seen any concrete and serious efforts to overcome price increases by the ministers` rank and file. I heard that ministries blamed each other. This is not good. The problem should be solved soon. Ministers should sit together and discuss it with the region and then act to stabilize prices," the president added.

Chief Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said on Wednesday he had asked the ministry of agriculture and the ministry of trade to improve a number of regulations on horticultural products, including onions in an effort to stabilize price fluctuations.

"I appeal to the agriculture and trade ministers to meet as soon as possible so that they could improve the agriculture and trade ministers` regulations, particularly with regard to garlic so that supply would meet demand," the coordinating minister for economic affairs said at the Presidential Office.

Hatta said that import restriction on garlic was not at the correct time now because farmers at home could only supply about 5 percent of the domestic need.

"It is quite unreasonable if garlic price contributed 0.17-021 percent of the inflation rate in February which was 0.75 percent. We should therefore, overcome this problem through a bilateral meeting between the minister of agriculture and the minister of trade today," Hatta said.

The result of the bilateral meeting should be taken to the coordinating minister for economic affairs to be discussed. The essence is that supply in domestic market must be met, Hatta said.

He said that the policy to restrict import was not wrong but a policy should be taken by taking into account the existing conditions so that its impact would not cause market distortion.

"If market distortion takes place it will drive up prices and increasing prices will generate inflation. So, we have to pay attention to this problem," he said.