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Jokowi Extends Rice Assistance Until December 2024

14 June 2024 19:42 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaPresident Joko Widodo or Jokowi has decided to extend the food assistance program in the form of 10 kilograms of rice until the end of this year. The rice aid will be distributed every two months in August, October, and December.

This was confirmed by the head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), Arief Prasetyo Adi, at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Friday, June 14. The food aid, which targets 22 million beneficiary families (KPM), was supposed to end this month.

“Yes, [it will be extended and distributed in] the 8th, 10th, and 12th months,” Arief said, underlining that the aid extension would not increase the volume of rice imports.

However, he did not elaborate on the adjustments to the State Budget, claiming that the Finance Ministry had calculated the food aid in consideration of the fiscal priorities of other programs.

Jokowi's social assistance has been criticized by his political opponents and civil society groups as a political intervention to help his eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto win the 2024 presidential election. Gibran was eventually declared vice president-elect.

The Constitutional Court ruled on April 22 that the allegations had not been proven. The government has repeatedly clarified that the rice aid is a response to rising commodity prices due to global inflation.

At every working visit, Jokowi repeatedly mentioned that social assistance was expected to ease the burden on the people. “This is something to be grateful for. All countries are currently experiencing difficulties due to rising food prices,” he said during the aid handover event in North Kolaka, Southeast Sulawesi, on May 14.

DANIEL A. FAJRI

Editor’s Choice: Jokowi: 'The World is Heading Towards Climate Hell'

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