Thursday, 21 November 2019

Minister Denies Sri Mulyani's Remarks on Phantom Villages

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Minister of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Abdul Halim. ANTARA/Wahyu Putro A

    Minister of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Abdul Halim. ANTARA/Wahyu Putro A

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Minister of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Abdul Halim Iskandar has dismissed Finance Minister Sri Mulyani’s allegations on phantom or fictitious villages. The emergence of fictitious or uninhabited villages was suspected as a modus operandi to obtain shares in the government’s village fund program.

    “We must share the same perception on the definition of fictitious first. Because what is meant by fictitious is something that does not exist, then the funds are disbursed there and cannot be accounted for. There are none [fictitious villages],” said Abdul in the Jakarta Presidential Palace, Friday, November 8.

    Abdul explained that his side always conducted an evaluation of the village funds twice a year. Also, the fund distribution was carried out in stages: 20 percent in the first stage, and 40 percent each in the second and third stages.

    The funds would not be disbursed if a village did not meet requirements, Abdul added. “The funds will not be granted if a full report is not submitted.”

    Therefore, based on the ministry’s observation, he asserted there was no fictitious village receiving village funds. Abdul said he had explained the matter to Sri Mulyani. “We have reported it,” he said.

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