Govt to Use Village Funds to Cut Poverty Rate in Villages, President Jokowi Says
President Joko Jokowi Widodo said poverty rate in the villages is still at 13.96 percent, almost double than that in the cities at 7.7 percent.
Therefore, the Government will continue increasing allocation of Village Funds to bring benefits for people in the villages, especially in the effort to reduce poverty there, President Jokowi said.
In 2015 the Government allocated Rp20.7 trillion in Village Funds, in 2016 Rp46.9 trillion was allocated, and in 2017 the Government allocates Rp60 trillion in Village Funds, the President said in his introductory remarks before a limited cabinet meeting on the Acceleration of Village Development at the Presidential Office, Jakarta, on Wednesday (29/3).
Regarding the channeling of the Funds, President Jokowi said that based on the Governments report, in the 2016 State Budget there were still four regencies/cities whose Village Funds could not be disbursed from the State Treasury General Account to the Regional Treasury General Account due to the late disbursement process at the Regency/City government level. In addition, there were also 241 villages that have not received Village Funds due to various factors.
I want that this problem be addressed immediately. And this year, we have to ensure that all villages can receive the Village Funds, the President said.
President Jokowi went on to say that the use of the Village Funds must also be allocated to boost economy as well as to tackle poverty and reduce gap in the villages.
The Governments data shows that 29% of the Village Funds has allocated to improve infrastructures that support economy in the villages such as village roads, bridges, village traditional markets, clean water facilities, wells, embankments, and irrigation channels.
For the next stage, however, President Jokowi hopes that a bigger portion of the Funds can be used to develop economic potentials in the villages, especially for agricultural and fishery industries, as well as for the development of MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) in the villages.
In the development of economic potentials in the villages, the approaches cannot be done partially; rather, it has to be integrated from the upstream sector to the downstream sector, the President concluded.
President Jokowi further said that the Village Funds must also be used to improve quality of life of peoples in the villages. In addition, the peoples participation to monitor the use of the Village Funds must also be encouraged so the Funds can be well-targeted, the President firmly said.
Attending the meeting were Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of National Development Planning/Head of the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Manpower Hanif Dhakiri, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Transportation Budi K. Sumadi, Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) General Gatot Nurmantyo, and Chief of the Indonesian National Police General Tito Karnavian. (DND/SM/JAY/ES) (EP/YM/Naster)