The government added social assistance funds (bansos) for the Family of Hope Program (PKH) worth IDR 8 trillion to reduce the economic and social impacts of the corona virus pandemic. For PKH recipients, this means that the funds received this month have doubled.
The Director General of Budget at the Ministry of Finance, Askolani, explained that the government decided to increase the social assistance funds received by each individual in the beneficiary family, in addition to increasing the number of recipients from 9.2 million to 10 million.
“This is to support the handling of social assistance to the people who are included in government programs,” he said, Wednesday (8/4).
Because of this policy, the PKH budget ceiling allocated by the Ministry of Finance increased from Rp29.13 trillion to Rp37.4 trillion. So, the PKH disbursement which was originally given four times a year, namely January, April, July, and October, has also increased especially this month.
“PKH will be expanded for an additional quarter (three months). Especially this April, one month of disbursement is added, so that the benefits received by PKH families in the second quarter will be double,” explained Askolani.
He continued that the disbursement with a double nominal value this month will be carried out by the Ministry of Social Affairs as the program implementing technical ministry. “This can be implemented by the Ministry of Social Affairs,” he added.
Meanwhile, in detail, funds for pregnant women have increased from IDR 3 million to IDR 3.75 million per year, children under 6 years of age from IDR 3 million to IDR 3.75 million per year, and children with elementary education from IDR 900 thousand to IDR 1.25 million. per year.
Then, junior high school students from Rp. 1.5 million to Rp1.87 million per year, high school students from Rp. 2 million to Rp. 2.5 million, disabilities from Rp. 2.4 million to Rp. 3 million and the elderly from Rp. 2.4 million to Rp. 3 million.
Not only increasing the PKH budget, the government is also raising funds for Basic Food Cards in order to reduce the economic impact of the corona pandemic. The nominal benefit fund will be increased from IDR 150 thousand to IDR 200 thousand per month per family.
The number of recipients also increased by 4.8 million from 15.2 million to 20 million recipients. The government also extended the duration of disbursement of funds from six months to nine months.
“This means that up to the end of this year additional benefits will be given up to Rp. 200 thousand. This covers up to 25 percent of the middle to lower class people so that they can help fulfill their basic needs,” he said.
Disbursement of funds will continue through four state-owned banks, namely Bank Mandiri, BNI, BRI, and BTN.
Furthermore, Askolation revealed that this policy raised the budget ceiling from Rp.28 trillion to Rp.43.6 trillion.
Overall, the expansion of recipients of these two social assistance programs has included the provision of special government social protection incentives for handling the corona pandemic with an accumulation of up to Rp110 trillion.
Social protection incentives will also be provided through the distribution of free electricity and a 50 percent discount, as well as a pre-employment card.