Gov’t Extends Food Assistance Program to Next Year
The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to extend the food assistance program until June 2024.
“In the limited meeting, the President agreed to continue providing food assistance program from January until June next year,” Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said in his press statement after attending a limited meeting at the Merdeka Palace, Monday (11/06).
According to the Coordinating Minister, the Government will provide 10 kilograms of rice to around 22 million beneficiary families each month and social assistance to 1.45 million stunting-prone families based on data from the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN).
“Social assistance for stunting prevention stands at Rp446.242 billion per quarter. The total amounts is amounting to Rp892 billion in the first half of next year,” Airlangga stated.
On that occasion, he mentioned that distribution of food assistance has achieved 94.95 percent in September, 94.89 percent in October, and 18.45 percent as of November 5.
“We distributed around 201 thousand tonnes of rice in September and in October,” he said.
As of November 2 this year, he continued, rice stocks in the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) reached 1.44 million tonnes, adding that Bulog required an extra budget of Rp19.1 trillion, which will be allocated around Rp7.9 trillion for the first stage, Rp8.4 trillion for the second stage, and Rp2.8 trillion for distribution and other expenses.
“The President has ordered Minister of Finance to immediately pay Bulog’s accumulated bill, which amounts to Rp16 trillion,” he added.
Airlangga further said that the Government will cover rice import duties at a fixed rate of Rp450 per kilogram. The Government Borne Import Duty (BMDTP) will be administered by Ministry of Finance.
“The Food Agency should make the necessary preparations so that Ministry of Finance can administer the BMDTP,” he said.
In the meantime, Minister of Trade Zulkifli Hasan said that the Government’s current rice stock remained in an adequate amount.
According to him, imported rice for the Government’s rice stock will continue to arrive until January next year.
“Our rice stock will reach almost 2 million tonnes. That way, we have secured the stock,” the Minister said. (FID/KS/UN) (RIF/RAS/LW)