Government tightens supervision of social aid distribution

Jakarta The government has tightened the supervision of social assistance in 2021, both cash and non-cash, to avoid embezzlement of funds, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs, Muhadjir Effendy, said.

The government already has a supervisory mechanism in place that involves local governments and the public, he remarked.

"President Joko Widodo has invited all governors across the country and called on regional leaders, governors, district heads, and mayors to actively monitor the distribution of social assistance," the minister said in a statement issued here on Tuesday.

He emphasized the importance of public participation in reporting any irregularities, including the slashing of social assistance funds by certain parties.

The government is providing Rp300 thousand in cash transfers per month to 10 million beneficiary families for four months, from January to April, 2021, the minister noted.

"The President has warned that the social assistance fund should not be cut, including for transaction fees in banks. After the funds are deposited into the banks, they should be transferred to the beneficiaries' accounts at once and banks should notify them," he said.

In addition to bank transfers through state-run banks under the State-owned Banks Association (Himbara), social aid will also be disbursed directly to beneficiaries through state-run postal service firm PT Pos Indonesia, especially in remote areas. "In areas with no access to banks, PT Pos will deliver the funds directly, door-to-door. Photos of the receivers will be taken and put into the database as proof that the money has been received by the beneficiaries," Effendy explained.

The government has mapped the geospatial as well as socio-economic conditions of the beneficiaries of the social assistance program so that the funds can be disbursed on target, he further informed.

"Based on last year's implementation of the program, we will continue to improve and ensure that the funds reach eligible targets," he remarked.

Meanwhile, deputy speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Hidayat Nur Wahid, has lauded the government's hard work in disbursing social assistance to the public.

"This is a big job, a genuine intention that must be guarded seriously," he said and urged people to have the courage to report any irregularities.

"This will need close cooperation among all stakeholders," he remarked.

Source: Antara News

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