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Poverty, Unemployment Alleviations Take Hard Work: Sri Mulyani

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that it would take hard work to alleviate poverty and unemployment. In the 2017 State Budget, the government expects the unemployment and poverty rates to stand at 5.6 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.

According to Sri Mulyani, unemployment has been a universal problem across the globe. Amidst economic growth in many countries, job opportunities are rare.

“It means that unemployed people are not optimally absorbed,” Sri Mulyani said at her office in Jakarta on Thursday, October 27, 2016.

Sri Mulyani pointed out that one of the causes of unemployment is technology advancement in the manufacturing industry.

“Technology reduces the value chain, so that job opportunities in the manufacturing industry are getting smaller,” Sri explained.

Given such a condition, Sri Mulyani suggested that the government should boost investment by improving the ease of doing business in Indonesia.

Sri Mulyani said that regional governments play a bigger role in poverty alleviation endeavors, as the government delegates the distribution subsidies for education and healthcare sectors to regional governments.

Sri Mulyani added that sustainable policies were necessary to prevent parents from inheriting poverty to their children.

“Poverty must be alleviated by means of education, healthcare and others,” Sri said.

Over the last two years, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration had been criticized for reducing the number of poor people by only 500,000, which was an insignificant achievement considering a budget of Rp 100 trillion allocated for poverty  alleviation programs.

Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa claimed that natural disasters had been a factor hampering poverty alleviation efforts.

“Many people went poor as a result of natural disasters, such as mount eruptions, floods, and landslides,” Khofifah said at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday, October 24, 2016. (Vindry Florentin)