TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani denied the allegation saying that the two-fold increase of social funds or locally known Bansos was related to the election in April 2019. She opined the hike was set considering the amount of the assistance had never been raised since 2012.
“[They say] the increase is due to the upcoming election, while since 2012, there was no adjustment to the inflation, so actually, the public receives lower aid,” said Sri Mulyani during her speech in the Outlook Perekonomian Indonesia 2019 in Ritz Carlton Hotel, South Jakarta, Tuesday, January 8.
The total budget for Social Ministry in 2019 reached Rp58.9 trillion, increased from that in 2018 at Rp43.2 trillion. When calculated, a total of 92.18 percent of the budget would be earmarked for the social assistance.
The largest program of the social assistance was the Family Hope Program (PKH) and the food program, which its amount reportedly doubled. The government reasoned the increase was prompted by the increase in the aid index of PKH at 100 percent, particularly for education and health sector.
The social fund assistance, Sri Mulyani explained, was necessary. She reasoned that in developing the economic competitiveness, the public's ability to access education was required, in addition to healthy human resources. “This is one of our focus policies,” said the minister.