US$33 Billion Poured into Villages Since 2015: President Jokowi

Arfi Bambani
Cisande Tourism Village in Sukabumi, West Java (Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy)
Cisande Tourism Village in Sukabumi, West Java (Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) urged state apparatuses to continue utilizing resources and materials from local villages for building infrastructure to help circulate money there and ensure economic benefits from the Village Fund are felt locally. President added Rp468 trillion or US$33 billion had been poured into villages since 2015.

"If you want to buy cement or bricks, buy it in your own village, so the money continues to circulate inside the village or the furthest at the sub-district level. Do not let the money circulate outside the village," the president noted at the 2022 National Gathering of the Indonesian Village Government Association in Jakarta, Tuesday.

Maintaining the circulation of money in the village also helps to maintain the continued potential for economic growth in the village, according to Jokowi. The president noted that every development budget for the village should be enjoyed by the entire village community. Hence, economic effects or benefits from the development must return to the village.

Thus, it will have a multiplier economic effect from every development budget in the village with the Village Fund. The economic benefits are also expected to improve welfare and reduce the poverty level in the community.

"Village residents do not need to go to the city to buy eggs and for other needs. They can buy them in their own village to help circulate the money locally. In the end, it will reduce the poverty rate in the village," he emphasized.

The president noted that the government had disbursed Rp468 trillion or US$33 billion in village funds since 2015. He considered the funds to be large enough for village development.

"Don't think this is small money, this is very big money, very big. In the history of this country being established, villages have never been given a budget of up to Rp468 trillion. That means being careful in managing," the President said. 

The President also said that if there was no COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he would have thought about increasing the village budget. "But God hasn't allowed it because the money used for COVID-19 in 2020 is a huge IDR 690 trillion, in 2021 it will reach IDR 740 trillion, so big that we also cut funds from all ministries, then we cut the funds for villages a little, a little, not a lot. next year, God willing, it will be returned or increased again," explained the President. 

Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian said that up to now, 308,460 km of village streets have been built from village funds; 1,553,215 meters of village bridges; 12,244 village markets; 42,317 village business entities; 7,384 boat moorings; 5,371 dams units, 80,120 irrigation units and 247,684 soil retaining units. Since 2014, according to Tito Karnavian, the village poverty rate has continued to decline to 1.23 percent based on BPS data with the number of poor people in the village in 2014 amounting to 17.37 million people, while until the end of 2021 it was reduced to 14.64 million people.

Jokowi lauded the realization of village funds that had been channeled to build village infrastructures, such as village roads, reservoirs, and bridges, which were expected to support economic growth in villages. Health facilities have been built from village funds such as clean water facilities, community health center (Posyandu), Village Maternity Center (Polindes), Early Childhood Education (PAUD), and toilets.

 "They also come from village funds. It will improve the quality of life and human resources in rural communities. Do not doubt how useful the village funds that we disburse to villages. It will bring economic growth in villages and affect national economic growth," Jokowi stated. 

Tag # village fund # indonesia economy # indonesia infrastructures

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