Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bat­tles Poverty and In­equal­ity in Bud­get

Indonesia Expat - - Business Profile -

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Sri Mulyani In­drawati has ear­marked Rp.292.8 tril­lion (US$21.9 bil­lion) in the draft 2018 state bud­get to fight poverty and in­come in­equal­ity.

In­drawati has pro­posed pro­grams which would in­clude so­cial pro­tec­tions, food as­sis­tance, health­care and ed­u­ca­tion, Tempo re­ported.

The Fam­ily Hope Pro­gram, which cur­rently as­sists 6 mil­lion In­done­sians with cash pay­ments, will be ex­tended to a fur­ther 4 mil­lion. The pro­gram will re­ceive

Rp.17.3 tril­lion (US$1.2 bil­lion) un­der In­drawati’s pro­posal.

The Fam­ily Hope Pro­gram pro­vides cash trans­fers to fam­i­lies that agree to a se­ries of re­quire­ments, in­clud­ing reg­u­lar health checks, nutri­tion train­ing and school attendance. A 2015 review of the pro­gram found women tak­ing part in the pro­gram attended 7 per­cent more an­te­na­tal checks which trans­lated to a 7 per­cent in­crease in child­hood vac­ci­na­tions.

Tempo also re­ported pro­posed changes to the pop­u­lar rice as­sis­tance pro­gram to an e- card sys­tem.

The min­istry has dumped a ru­moured House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives plan to fund the con­struc­tion of apart­ments for law­mak­ers in the cap­i­tal.

“There is no bud­get al­lo­ca­tion. We never dis­cussed it and there was also no pro­posal for it,” Min­istry Bud­get Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Askolani said, as re­ported by Kom­pas.

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