The Indonesian government announced that it would distribute a number of social assistance to the community. The social assistance aims to increase purchasing power due to the tendency of various price increases amid the threat of a global crisis. Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani said that the government would provide additional social support as a form of diversion of fuel subsidies amounting to 24.17 trillion rupiah. This was conveyed by her after attending a Limited Meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo at the State Palace in Jakarta, Monday (29/8).
More than half of the assistance will be addressed to 20.65 million poor beneficiary families. Each family will receive 600,000 rupiah. In addition, President Joko Widodo also instructed to provide assistance to 16 million workers who have a maximum salary of 3.5 million rupiah per month with assistance of 600,000 rupiah.
Will this social assistance increase people's purchasing power?
Quoting tempo.co (5/8), Head of the Central Statistics Agency, Margo Yuwono said that the policy of subsidies and social assistance, as well as curbing interest rates, was quite effective in controlling domestic inflation, maintaining people's purchasing power and ensuring conducive business conditions. Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo in his Twitter account @jokowi on Monday (29/8) expressed his hope that this social assistance can ease the burden on people who are faced with pressure from various price increases.
Of course, everyone also hopes to face pressure from various price increases, especially when the price of subsidized fuel oil rises. All community groups will be affected. The social assistance may not necessarily be provided permanently. This should also be realized by the beneficiary. Thus, they should not be too dependent on the assistance forever.
Directions not to use aid for consumptive activities must also be carried out. The beneficiary community needs to be directed to use the assistance for productive purposes. Thereby, it can be better prepared in the event of an increase in prices due to an increase in fuels.
Hopefully, all the policies and efforts taken by the government of Indonesia can immediately make Indonesia recover faster, rise up stronger.