Government should re-contemplate halting cash aid for poor: lawmaker

Deputy House Speaker Azis Syamsuddin has appealed to the Social Affairs Ministry to reevaluate stopping cash social assistance (BST) for poor families.

“We suggest that the government evaluate the implementation of the BST program in 2020 and 2021 to see the extent to which the assistance has been effective in promoting the people’s economy and seek other form of assistance if BST is scrapped,” he noted in a press statement released on Friday.

The House of Representatives (DPR) also called on the government to reconsider extending cash assistance if the people’s economy has not gradually recovered, although the national economy has begun to return to normal.

Syamsuddin remarked that the people leading a difficult life due to the COVID-19 pandemic are in dire need of the assistance.

The deputy chairman of the Golkar Party stated that BST is part of the cash assistance program launched by President Joko Widodo on January 4, 2021. The program covers basic necessities/non-cash food assistance (BPNT) program for 18.8 million beneficiary families, family hope program (PKH) for 10 million beneficiary families, and cash social assistance (BST) program for 10 million beneficiary families.

According to the DPR data, in March 2021, non-cash food assistance was distributed to 10,496,185 beneficiary families comprising 4,502,451 beneficiary families on March 22 and 5,993,734 beneficiary families on March 25.

 

Source: Antara News

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