State budget instrumental in helping public thwart pandemic’s impact

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati gave due weightage to the state budget as a crucial instrument to help the public thwart the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The state budget is an extraordinarily important instrument to immediately help the community through our various social safety networks," the minister remarked during an online discussion here on Tuesday.

One of the state budget's contributions to promoting public welfare can be realized through the utilization of the budget funding for the Social Protection Program for which the government had allocated Rp203.9 trillion in the budget fund, she noted.

Until October 14, 2020, the realization of budget fund for the Social Protection Program had reached Rp167.08 trillion, comprising Rp37.4 trillion for the Family Hope Program (PKH), Rp43.6 trillion for basic necessities, Rp6.8 trillion for social assistance in Greater Jakarta, and Rp32.4 trillion for social assistance outside Greater Jakarta, she explained.

The other programs comprised the Pre-employment Card Program worth Rp20 trillion; electricity bill discounts worth Rp6.9 trillion; logistics, food, and basic needs worth Rp25 trillion; and cash assistance for villages worth Rp31.8 trillion, she stated.

In addition, the government has offered health assistance worth Rp87.55 trillion to the public; Rp120.61 trillion in business incentives; Rp123.46 trillion in assistance for micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs; Rp53.57 trillion in corporate financing; and Rp106.1 trillion for ministries and non-ministerial government institutions and regional governments.

"The state budget helps the public not only in the health sector but also in the economic field," she stated.

The various forms of assistance must be offered since the pandemic had a social impact, including declining income on the part of individuals and micro, small, and medium businesses that came under pressure since several offices and schools were closed due to large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).

Most importantly, the state budget must be managed optimally, especially when revenues, including taxes and non-tax revenues, declined while spending continued to increase, she added.

Source: Antara News

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