Jakarta, July 21, 2018 (Antara) -The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS)
recently spread the good news that the poverty rate in Indonesia has
dropped to the lowest compared to the ratios in the earlier periods.
The number of people living below the poverty line has dropped to 25.95
million, or 9.82 percent of the population, in March 2018 from 27.77
million, or 10.64 percent of the population, a year earlier.
BPS head Suhariyanto told reporters in Jakarta on July 16, 2018, that
nationally, the number of people categorized as poor in March 2018
dropped 1.82 million from a year earlier.
The success in the drop in poverty rate was thanks to all priority
programs of the government, such as infrastructure development for
better connectivity; village funds; improvement in logistics
distribution; and several social allowances for health, family welfare,
and education, among others.
Affairs Minister Idrus Marham lauded the achievement and was convinced
that it was due to the successful government programs.
"It indicates that the government programs, such as KIP (Indonesian
Smart Card (KIP), Indonesia¿s Health Card (KIS), Family Hope Program,
Joint Business Group (Kube), and social insurances (BPJS), have worked,¿
the minister remarked.
is optimistic that the poverty rate will decrease further to nine
percent, lower than the poverty reduction target set by the President
Joko Widodo Administration, which is at one digit, by the end of his
However, despite the success, Widodo reminded the citizens that poverty
reduction and social gap cut are still challenges and homework that
need to be dealt with.
"Again, I reiterate that social gap and poverty remain our common challenges,¿ he added.
The head of state expressed concern over the social gap and wealth
disparity between western and eastern Indonesian regions.
He believed that infrastructure development could become a solution to
inequality between the country¿s eastern and western regions.
is crucial, and once again it is not merely related to economic
matters. As a huge country with 17 thousand islands, Indonesia needs
seaports, airports, and roads, including toll roads. We can deliver
unity and equality from west until east and from north until south," he
Basically, the percentage of people living in
poverty in the eastern part of Indonesia in March 2018 was still higher
than that of the western part.
"It (the poverty rate) mostly fell, but it remains a major homework in
the eastern part of Indonesia, as the percentage of its poor people is
far higher than that of the western part," BPS Chief Suhariyanto pointed
the president¿s view, Suhariyanto believed that several infrastructure
projects being implemented in the eastern part of Indonesia would help
reduce the number of people living in poverty there.
National Development Planning Minister, who is concurrently the Head of
the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Bambang
Brodjonegoro, emphasized the importance of manageable inflation to
reduce the poverty rate.
"The key factor to reducing the poverty rate is the government's
intervention. However, there is still one important aspect needed to
manage the inflation rate. It is not 100 percent dependent on the
government, but there are several factors involved," Brodjonegoro
He remarked that a high inflation rate will make the increase in income worthless.
"Hence, it is crucial for us to maintain the inflation rate," he explained.
to data of the Central Statistic Agency (BPS), food commodities that
have a significant impact on the poverty rate in rural and urban areas
are rice, cigarettes, eggs, chicken, instant noodles, and sugar.
commodities that have a significant impact on the poverty rate are
housing, fuel oil, electricity, education, and toiletries.
has a 27 percent contribution (to the poverty rate). It means that the
price of rice should not be increased," the minister stated.
have a 10.21 percent impact on the poverty rate. Any increase in the
price of the commodity would have a significant impact on the poverty
it does not mean that we could not increase the price of cigarettes.
Their consumption must be reduced," he noted.
impact of cigarettes on the poverty rate is higher than those of the
housing sector, fuel oil, sugar, instant noodles, chicken, and eggs.
"It is a big task to create public awareness in Indonesia, in order to
reduce (cigarette) consumption, which is not only unproductive but also
unhealthy," Brodjonegoro noted here on Thursday.
elaborated that if smokers would spend money to buy cigarettes, they
would have to spend more money for tobacco-related health problems in
the longer term.
national health insurance (the healthcare BPJS) would also become
another victim. The more the money people spend on cigarettes, the more
funds BPJS would have to spend for their healthcare costs," the minister
According to Brodjonegoro, one concrete move to reduce cigarette consumption is to increase its price. ***4***
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