Finance Minister stresses importance of quality budget spending

    Jakarta (ANTARA) – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has stressed the importance of quality state budget spending to provide optimal benefits to the people.

    “One of the most crucial keys for the state budget to be tangible, not wasted, is the quality of spending. So, good and plentiful allocation does not necessarily turn out to be a real result,” the minister said at an event entitled “State Budget for the Whole Country,” which was followed online from here on Thursday.

    One of the priorities of the state budget is improving human resources, she noted.

    A country can develop and become prosperous if it has healthy, smart human resources of good quality, she added.

    Hence, she said, 20 percent of the state budget, which amounts to Rp612.2 trillion (US$41 billion), has been allocated for the education sector in 2023.

    Of the allocation, Rp237.1 trillion (US$16 billion) is for central government expenditure, Rp305.6 trillion (US$20.5 billion) for regional spending, and Rp69.5 trillion (US$4.7 billion) for funding.

    Another sector that has been prioritized in the state budget is health, she said.

    According to her, in the past three years, there has been significant spending on health, which has been predominantly used for COVID-19 handling and covering vaccinations, treatments, and expenses of people undergoing self-isolation, among other things.

    Indrawati informed that currently, COVID-19 is under control, so the budget can be used for other issues such as stunting reduction as well as improving medical facilities to treat patients suffering from non-communicable diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

    As much as Rp178.7 trillion (US$11.9 billion) in the state budget has been allocated for the health sector in 2023, with Rp118.7 trillion (US$7.9 billion) set aside for the central government and Rp60 trillion (US$4 billion) for stunting reduction.

    Further, the state budget has allocated Rp476 trillion (US$31.8 billion) for social security, with Rp454.7 trillion (US$30.4 billion) set aside for the central government, Rp17 trillion (US$1.13 billion) for regional use, and Rp4.3 trillion (US$288 million) for others.

    The state budget functions as a shock absorber, she said, which consistently protects the people and the economy at times when the global situation is not stable, such as when fuel prices fluctuate, the minister noted.

    For instance, when global fuel prices doubled, the government used the budget to provide subsidies so that the prices remained affordable, she added.

    Related news: Financing increase at pandemic onset could finance 2 IKNs: Minister

    Related news: Ministry allocates Rp476 trillion for social protection

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