Social Affairs Minister Asks State Banks to Bring Services Closer to Aid Recipients

Wednesday, 15-September-2021 17:21

Indonesian Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini
Image : Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs
Indonesian Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini

BANJARBARU, NETRALNEWS.COM - Indonesian Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini has asked the Association of State-Owned Banks (Himbara) in South Kalimantan to bring its services closer to recipients of Social Assistance or Bansos. Banks need to take the initiative to pick up the ball to the nearest location from the recipient's domicile so that the aid can be received immediately.

"I ask Himbara banks to bring services closer to Beneficiary Families (KPM), as transportation fees for beneficiaries to reach the banks at the city can become costly," said the Minister of Social Affairs after leading the data matching meeting at the Social Welfare Education and Training Center (BBPPKS) in Banjarmasin, on Wednesday (09/15/2021).

Present at the meeting were Echelon I officials, Special Staff to the Minister, representatives of the Regional Government of South Kalimantan, representatives of Himbara banks, representatives of the Criminal Investigation Unit of the National Police, as well as facilitators for the Keluarga Harapan Program (PKH) and Non-Cash Food Assistance (BPNT).

One of the inputs revealed at the meeting was the geographical challenges in the process of distributing social assistance. The South Kalimantan area is generally characterized by the presence of lowlands which are mostly peatlands, swamps, and rivers. This condition more or less affects the speed in the distribution of aid.

Several PKH facilitators stated that the distribution of aid for KPMs was conducted by taking klotok boats along the river or across the sea. The costs incurred for this purpose could be greater than the aid index of IDR200,000-IDR600,000.

"Some people need 15 hours to have the social assistance. I don't think it's fair to be forced into such conditions," said the Minister of Social Affairs.

By understanding the geographical conditions in South Kalimantan and the explanations of the facilitators, the Minister of Social Affairs gave directions for banks to bring their services closer to the residences of the KPMs.

In the long term, the Minister of Social Affairs will prepare special regulations. With this regulation, it can become Himbara's legal umbrella to distribute social assistance at once.

"For areas with natural challenges such as in South Kalimantan, a special approach is needed. I will prepare a regulation in which the distribution of social assistance uses a geographical approach, and not just an administrative one," said the Minister of Social Affairs.

At the meeting, the Minister of Social Affairs evaluated the disbursement of social assistance in South Kalimantan. Like other areas that were visited by the Minister of Social Affairs, the problem of distributing social assistance revolves around the undistribution of KKS, suspended accounts, duplicate data collection, and banking procedures that are felt to be complicated. This happened to both PKH and BPNT KPMs.

"We knew earlier that what was said to be suspended (accounts) could actually be resolved. The addresses of the KPMs in question can be found. So I hope that aid will not be withheld," she said.

The Minister of Social Affairs asked banks, regional governments, and all related parties to prioritize services for KPMs whose lives are getting more difficult due to the impact of the pandemic.

Reporter : turkhan
Editor : turkhan