Finance Minister Battles Poverty and Inequality in Budget
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.