"In the short term, all program schemes related to the social protection net, such as the PKH (Family of Hope Program), cash social assistance, and rural BLT (cash assistance), must be ensured to run effectively," he noted here on Thursday while chairing a limited cabinet meeting via teleconference on accelerating rural economic improvement.
The president emphasized that the social protection net scheme should reach the people in need, especially the rural communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Likewise, implementation of the cash for work (program) in villages must truly be guarded, so that it can reduce the burden of rural communities, who have lost their jobs, encounter difficulties in working, or come from poor families in villages," he remarked.
The president also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic should be an eye-opener to streamline and reform the grand strategy of transforming the village economy.
In the meantime, on Sept 9, 2020, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani stated that the village funding apportioned in the 2021 Draft State Budget reached Rp72 trillion, or a 1.1-percent rise, from Rp71.2-trillion in Presidential Decree 72 of 2020 to support COVID-19 recovery efforts.
"Our village funds will increase to Rp72 trillion next year. We will take several steps in line with the theme of supporting economic recovery," the minister noted during a joint meeting with Committee IV of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD).
Indrawati noted that village funds were also utilized for encouraging village economic recovery, specifically by strengthening the sustainability of cash-intensive programs and a social safety net in the form of direct cash assistance (BLT).
Economic recovery was also facilitated through empowering SMEs and the agricultural business sector, encouraging transformation of the village economy through digital villages, and continuing the village potential development program, supporting superior village products, facilitating rural areas, and enhancing the role of village-owned enterprises.
"Next year's village fund policy aims to increase the share of formula allocation in order to improve the proportion of village fund allocations per village in accordance with the village characteristics," she noted.
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