Hans Nicholas Jong, Surabaya – The government has decided to resurrect its Return to Village Movement (Gerakan Kembali ke Desa) initiative as a follow up to the launch of its 'dana desa' village fund program.
The government expects the initiative to solve the problem of overpopulation in Jakarta, especially in relation to the the ever-increasing number of newcomer arrivals in the city after Idul Fitri, according to Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa.
"There was a Return to Village Movement in the past. But it was launched at a time when there was no village fund. Now the initiative is accompanied by significant village funds. One village receives Rp 1.2 billion (US$91,585) to Rp 2 billion," Khofifah said on the sidelines of an Idul Fitri gathering in Surabaya on Saturday.
As villages receive funds, they are able to develop themselves into economic centers. "The redistribution of economic centers to each village can be initiated today," Khofifah said.Jakarta saw a considerable population increase over the last two years. The population rose to 10.1 million people last year from 9.9 million in 2013, said Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat.
The Return to Village Movement was first initiated by former East Java governor Basofi Sudirman in the early 1990s. (ary)