President Jokowi: Be prudent with village funds

President Jokowi
President Jokowi at the launching of Village-Owned Enterprise Legal Entity Certification and the inauguration of Village-Owned Enterprise National Coordination Meeting, Monday (12/20/2021). BPMI SETPRES/RUSMAN

IO – A total of IDR 400.1 trillion in village funds has been disbursed by the Government since 2015. President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) warns that village funds must be managed meticulously. He underscored this advice during the launching of Village-Owned Enterprise Legal Entity Certification and the inauguration of Village-Owned Enterprise National Coordination Meeting, Jakarta, Monday (12/20/2021).

“Be careful in managing village funds, which is not a small number. IDR 400.1 trillion is a lot of money. If the distribution is amiss, or the management is awry, it can be disastrous. I need to remind all of this,” said the President.

Jokowi detailed the village funds budget in 2015 was IDR 20.8 trillion, 2016 IDR 46.7 trillion, 2017 IDR 59.8 trillion, 2018 IDR 59.8 trillion, 2019 IDR 69.8 trillion, 2020 IDR 71.1 trillion and 2021 IDR 72 trillion.

“We can see that local government budgets (APBD) have been increasing drastically. In 2014, the average was IDR 329 million, in 2015 it increased to IDR 701 million, in 2021 it became IDR 1.6 billion,” he added.

The President stated that since 2014, the Government has been committed to developing Indonesia from the periphery, borders and villages, with an Indonesia-centric development, not Java-centric.

The President explains that the development does not focus on big infrastructure like toll roads, seaports and airports. The Government also focuses on roads and small retention basins in the villages and renovating village markets.

Jokowi details the physical development in the villages that includes 227 thousand kilometers of village roads, 4,500 small basins, 71 thousand irrigation units, 1.3 million meters of bridges, 10,300 village markets and 57,200 units of village-owned enterprises.

The village funds have also been used to improve the quality of life of the people in the village, through the construction of 1.2 million kilometers of clean water infrastructure, 38 thousand units of integrated healthcare centers, 12 thousand village maternity centers, and 38 million meters of drainage.

“These have all been built. There are 59 thousand wells, 56 thousand early childhood education centers, sports facilities and toilets. This is all intended quality of life improvement for the villagers.”

The President also emphasizes the importance of involving village-owned enterprises to transform the village economy. During the pandemic, the rural economy has become a savior when the economy in urban areas is disrupted.

“Everyone must dare to change. Economic transformation in the villages is very important. And village-owned enterprises also have to transform. Don’t only focus on village-related matters, but have a great vision, go to bigger markets, especially export markets,” said Jokowi.

The President also encourages the community to build and turn their villages into a center of productive economic activities. Village-owned enterprises and joint village-owned enterprises should be able to spur the growth of new businesses needed in the community.

He added that village-owned enterprises should consolidate community businesses to accommodate what the community needs.

Lastly, he urges private companies and state-owned enterprises to involve village-owned enterprises in big businesses, such as plantation and mining. (eka)