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State social spending surges by 135%: Minister

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati revealed on Tuesday that state spending on social assistance has surged by 135.1 percent during the first two months of the year compared to the same period last year.

The government has allocated Rp 22.5 trillion ($1.4 billion) from the 2024 state budget for social programs such as cash aid for the poor, social insurance, and school subsidies as of February 29.

"The amount represents a significant increase of 135.1 percent from the Rp 9.6 trillion spent on social programs last year," Sri Mulyani said during a hearing with the budget commission of the House of Representatives in Jakarta.

The state budget has disbursed Rp 12.8 trillion to the Social Affairs Ministry to provide cash aid and subsidized basic supplies for 18.7 million low-income families.

An additional Rp 7.7 trillion was allocated to the Health Ministry for 98.7 million recipients of subsidized state social insurance.

Moreover, the budget included Rp 900 billion for the Education Ministry to provide scholarships for students from low-income families.

The social spending also encompassed Rp 1.1 trillion for the Religious Affairs Ministry's programs and Rp 800 billion for disaster mitigation efforts.

Sri Mulyani highlighted that the 2024 state budget has recorded Rp 470.3 trillion in overall spending as of March 15, marking an 18 percent increase from the same period last year.

"The significant increase is primarily due to the general elections in February. We allocated a substantial portion of the state budget to finance the elections," she explained.

During the same period, state revenue reached Rp 493.2 trillion, resulting in a surplus of Rp 22.8 trillion.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/state-social-spending-surges-by-135-ministe