Government to continue social aid in 2021

Minister of Social Affairs Juliari P. Batubara. (Photo: KEMENSOS Doc.)

IO – Minister of Social Affairs Juliari P. Batubara has confirmed that the Ministry will continue its Cash Social Aid (Bantuan Sosial Tunai – “BST”) program for citizens who are affected by the pandemic in 2021 in order to alleviate their economic burdens. The Government is making the effort to be present for its citizens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which may not have lessened by the incoming year. “We are continuing BST for six months, i.e. January-June 2021. The program’s scope includes 34 provinces or all of Indonesia’s provinces, naturally including DKI Jakarta,” he said at an interview at the start of the month in Jakarta (01/11/2020).

BST 2021 will cover Beneficiary Families (Keluarga Penerima Manfaat – “KPM”) at IDR 200,000.00/KPM/month. The Ministry allocates IDR 12 trillion of its budget for this program. However, Minister Juliari admits that social aid programs in 2021 will not be as massive as this year’s, as the Government will be more focused on economic recovery and COVID-19 vaccination programs, which will require massive expenditure in turn.

On the other hand, other social aid programs such as the Basic Necessity Social Aid (Bantuan Sosial Sembako – “BSS”), Rice Social Aid (Bantuan Sosial Beras – “BSB”), and several other programs will have to be temporarily suspended next year.

However, it all depends on the situation and the President’s decision. Other regular social aid, such as the Hopeful Family Program (Program Keluarga Harapan – “PKH”) and Non-Cash Food Aid (Bantuan Pangan Non-Tunai – “BPNT”) Program, or other Basic Necessity programs, will continue normally in 2021. The two programs are an important part of the Government’s plan to accelerate the reduction of poverty. PKH in 2021 will cover 10 million KPMs with a budget of IDR 30.4 trillion, while BPNT will cover 18.5 million KPMs with a budget of IDR 44.7 trillion.

This reorganization of the Ministry’s social protection programs is made with the consideration that the Government will be developing various economic empowerment programs in 2021, including aid for Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Businesses; Work Intensive Program; Village Fund BLT; and Pre-Employment Card.

The Pre-Employment Card program is a semi-social aid program meant to help job seekers, including new graduates or newly unemployed people. It is a two-pronged program providing job training for unemployed citizens and financial incentives, jointly managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Labor. There are three requirements for applying to this program: The person must be a valid citizen who has a Citizen Registry Number

(Nomor Induk Kewarganegaraan – “NIK”), is 18 years of age or older, and not going to school or college.

The Micro Business Productive President’s Aid (Bantuan Presiden Produktif Usaha Mikro – “BPUM”) is a IDR 2.4 million aid directly provided to micro businesses. Beneficiaries must have a valid business and possess a Citizen Identification Card; is not a civil servant, member of the military, or a police officer; is not employed by either a StateOwned or Region-Owned Enterprise; and is not undergoing a funding scheme from either banks or the People’s Business Credit (Kredit Usaha Rakyat – “KUR”). The 500,000 Non-PKH BLT or BST aid is an IDR 500,000.00 given to KPMs who are not participants in the PKH program. They may be either BPNT or Basic Necessity Card beneficiaries. The aid money is issued once a year. It has been distributed previously in AugustSeptember 2020.

The Basic Necessity Program or BPNT is meant to help less-than-prosperous families cover their daily food needs. Finally, the PKH is a conditional social aid program meant for impoverished families who satisfy the Ministry of Social Affairs’ criteria. The Basic Necessity Program and PKH are two priority national programs slated to be continued in the upcoming year, because they have provided actual benefits to poor families across Indonesia. (Dan)