Following the disclosure of the Jakarta administration’s incapability to distribute social assistance to its residents due to insufficient budget, Governor Anies Baswedan announced on Thursday (7 May) that his administration has allocated over 5 trillion Rupiah (S$472 million) to carry out the program.
“Jakarta Administration Office has allocated a budget of Rp5,032 trillion as part of unexpected expenditures in the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic control,” said Mr Baswedan in a statement on Thursday evening.
The Unexpected Expenditures Budget will cover three sectors: Health care, economic recovery program, and a social safety net which includes aid packages.
“It can be used anytime, and if needed, the amount can also be increased,” he added.
Previously, three ministers reported questionable findings on the distribution of social assistance by the Jakarta Administration Office.
Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani stated that Governor Baswedan had an issue with budget allocation for the social assistance distribution in his province.
“We received a report from Minister of Coordinating for Human Development and Cultural Affairs that Jakarta Administration has an insufficient budget issue to cover 1.1 million residents as promised and had instead asked the central government to cover it,” said Mdm Mulyani during a working meeting in the House Commission XI of the People’s Representative Council on 6 May.
Mr Baswedan assured that he would be responsible for the social assistance distribution to 1.1 million residents affected by the pandemic in the capital city, while the central government commits to cover the remaining 3.6 million of its residents.
He was, however, later reported to have broken his commitment by asking the central government to assist with the social assistance distribution for all Jakarta residents due to insufficient budget issue.
“So, the previous [commitment of] 1.1 million residences covered by the Jakarta Administration and the remaining 3.6 million covered by the central government has now become the full responsibility of the central government,” said Mdm Mulyani.
The aid for Jakarta residents during the COVID-19 pandemic comes in the form of basic food supply and a monthly allowance of Rp600,000 (S$56.55) for April to June.
This is one of the government’s efforts to prevent Jakarta residents from returning to their hometown during Hari Raya in a bid to curb further spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The government has also prepared the budget for the third stimulus package in the amount of Rp405.1 trillion to counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the nation.
This package will be used for giving incentives to health workers and management, a social safety net in the form of cash allowance for those living outside Jakarta, tax reductions for industrial support, and national economic recovery programs.
There will also be an electricity bill waiver for 450 volt ampere (VA) customers and electricity discount for subsidized 900 VA customers in the country.