Government continues to reduce poverty: President

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government continues to reduce inequality and poverty across Indonesia, President Joko Widodo stated.

"The gini coefficient decreased from 0.41 to 0.38. Reducing the gini coefficient takes time and it is not easy," Joko Widodo said here on Monday.

The rate of poverty is 9.82 percent (as of March 2018), which is below 10 percent for the first time.

"It is not easy to achieve that," the president said.

The government also launched Family Hope Program (PKH), Healthy Indonesia Card (KIS), and Smart Indonesia Card (KIP) programs.

"The government also provides village funds to improve the welfare of rural communities. Until now, the government disburses Rp187 trillion for village funds," the president said.

The percentage of people living in poverty in the eastern part of Indonesia in March 2018 was still higher than that of the western part, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

"It (the poverty rate) mostly fell, but it remains a big homework in the eastern part of Indonesia, because the percentage of its poor people is far higher than that of the western part," BPS Chief Suhariyanto earlier said.

By percentage, poor people make up 21.20 percent of the population of Maluku and Papua provinces compared to 14.02 percent in Bali and Nusa Tenggara provinces and 10.64 percent in Sulawesi provinces.

However, by number, most of the poor people live in Java, reaching 13.34 million, compared to 5.97 million living in Sumatra and 2.06 million in Sulawesi.

Suhariyanto expressed hope that a number of infrastructure projects carried out in eastern Indonesia would help reduce the number of poor people there.

"Therefore, the development activities in the eastern parts of Indonesia will hopefully have positive impact on the reduction of poverty rates there," he asserted.

Nearly 25.95 million, or 9.82 percent, of the Indonesian population lived in poverty as of March 2018 compared to 27.77 million or 10.64 percent a year earlier.

The 9.82 percent decline in poverty rate is the first single-digit poverty rate that the country has achieved since 1999.

Meanwhile, the poverty rate averaged 10 to 13 percent from March 2010 to September 2017.

Overall, Indonesias poverty rate has declined since 2012, except in March 2016, September 2013, and March 2015, due to an increase in the prices of basic necessities as a result of the governments policy to raise fuel prices.

Source: ANTARA News

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