Wednesday, 21 October 2020 | 11:15 WIB

Social Affairs Minister: Social Aid Programs Highly Effective in Moving Economy

Social Affairs Minister: Social Aid Programs Highly Effective in Moving Economy (kemensos)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Indonesia Minister of Social Affairs Juliari P Batubara has emphasized that the social assistance programs (bansos) do not trigger consumptive behavior in society. He asked not to see from the ceremony of handing over of social assistance or to people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The social assistance programs, which target tens of millions of beneficiary families (KPM) throughout Indonesia, is very effective in moving the economy from upstream to downstream.

"Don't just look at the distribution activities. There are so many industries that are being driven, which of course provide economic benefits for so many elements of society, and not only KPMs," said the Minister of Social Affairs in Jakarta, on Friday (10/162020).

The basic food aid (bansos sembako) is part of the special social assistance to deal with Covid-19. This aid package comprises of rice, canned fish, cooking oil, and instant noodles.

"Which means, at least four industries have been positively affected by the presence of social assistance," Juliari said.

Another special social assistance, the cash social assistance (BST) that given every month for three months to nine million KPMs, is considered effective to maintain people's purchasing power in the midst of crisis condition that arises due to the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.

"There are canned fish producers in Banyuwangi who have difficulty finding employees due to the high demand for social aid packages. In fact, I have even complained about rice entrepreneurs whose prices have risen because of many orders from social assistance," he said.

Furthermore, Juliari noted that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia shows the true nature of the Indonesian people, namely sharing and being loyal friends. The flow of aid does not only come from the government, but also from the corporate sectors as well as individuals competing to share resources.

"I hope that the nature of social solidarity is not only during a disaster, but also during normal conditions," Juliari added.

The regular socia aid program consists of the Keluarga Harapan Program (PKH) and Non-Cash Food Assistance (BPNT)/Staple Food Program. In the context of handling Covid-19, PKH's Social Assistance Program expanded its membership from 9.2 million to 10 million Beneficiary Families (KPM), which initially received quarterly to monthly.

The Staple Food Program (Non-Cash Food Assistance/BPNT) includes an expansion of the target and an increase in the index from the original 15.2 million KPMs to 20 million KPMs, with an index of IDR 150,000/KPM/month that is increased to to IDR 200,000/KPM/month.

For Additional Social Assistance, Rice Social Assistance (BSB) was launched for 10 million KPM PKH, and Cash Social Assistance for KPM BPNT/Non-PKH Staple Food Program with an index of IDR500,000 per one-time distribution to 9 million KPMs.