JAKARTA, NNC - The Minister of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Eko Putro Sandjojo believes in 2019, the Ministry of Village can alleviate as many as 15,000 underdeveloped villages into developing villages.
That way, the Village Ministry can reach three times the target of the 2014-2019 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) document.
"In the RPJMN we are targeted to alleviate as many as 5,000 disadvantaged villages into developing villages. This March, more than 10,000 villages have been elevated to developing villages. God willing in 2019 it can be 15,000, threefold," he said when he was the keynote speaker at the National Dialogue "Is Village Fund Effective?" in Jakarta, Saturday (10/13/2018).
In the event organized by the Nias Youth Care (PPN) Minister Eko said the presence of village funds was very influential in accelerating the eradication of disadvantaged villages. With village funds, the whole village gets allocations directly from the central government without exception.
"Previously funds for villages were disbursed to each district. Well, in the district it was not evenly distributed to all villages. Therefore, with village funds, all budgets were divided equally," he said.
He continued the village fund in 2018 amounts to IDR60 trillion. Eighty percent of them are divided equally across villages, while the remaining 20 percent is divided based on affirmations of poor villages, population, and underdeveloped village categories. That way, villages that are left behind and poor will get the most village funds.
"The very poor villages can get funds of up to IDR3 billion."
He said President Joko Widodo always reminded that economic growth in Indonesia must be balanced with a reduction in poverty and inequality. Otherwise increasing economic growth will potentially lead to social upheaval.
"If we don't pay attention to the village, there will be a gap. This will lead to social unrest. So the observer's prediction that Indonesia will become the world's fourth economic power country will not be achieved," he said.
According to him, the decline in the poverty rate in the village at this time is also quite significant. In the last three years, the decline in poverty in the village is more than 1.2 million people. This figure is far compared to the decline in poverty in the city which reached 580,000 people.