Government seeks to lower poverty rate to below 10 percent this year

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) has set itself the target of lowering poverty rate to less than 10 percent of the total Indonesian population this year.

"(The poverty rate of) 10.12 percent is the lowest in Indonesian history. We hope it will stay below 10 percent this year," Bappenas Chief Bambang Brodjonegoro said, following a cabinet plenary meeting at the State Palace here, on Wednesday.

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) earlier stated that the number of Indonesian people living in poverty stood at 26.58 million, or 10.12 percent of the population, as of September 2017. The figure fell 0.52 percent from 27.77 million as of March 2017.

The national poverty rate reached 11.13 percent as of September 2015 and 10.70 percent as of September 2016.

The Bappenas chief noted that he had briefed the House of Representatives (DPR) on the target of poverty rate for this year.

He added that although the poverty rate has declined, the deepness and severity had worsened last year. But this year, the poverty rate declined, with the deepness and severity being slightly good.

To lower poverty rate to less than 10 percent this year, the deepness and severity should be improved, he explained.

Right now, the group of very poor people includes those who live below 80-percent poverty line, he added.

"To promote their living standard, we must improve the deepness and severity by ensuring that social assistance reaches the target recipients," he remarked.

He elaborated that the high poverty rate in 2016 resulted from the fact that the distribution of rice social assistance did not match the target, quantity, and time.

"If we make improvement this year, the target of 10 percent will most likely be achieved," he pointed out.

Source: ANTARA News

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