Finance Minister Pushes for Speeding Up Regional Fund Usage

By : Nata Kesuma | Monday, June 21 2021 - 22:37 IWST

Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati (Photo by PR of Cabinet Secretariat)
Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati (Photo by PR of Cabinet Secretariat) - Realization of funds transferred to the regions for COVID-19 management needs to be accelerated, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said.

“Eight percent of General Allocation Fund (DAU) and Revenue Sharing Fund (DBH) has been earmarked for COVID-19 management. The current realization still stands at 8.2 percent of the total budget of Rp33.8 trillion,” she said during the virtual National Work Meeting of the Indonesian Regency Administrations Association (APKASI), Saturday (19/06).

According to Sri Mulyani, out of Rp33.8 trillion from DAU-DBH, only Rp285 billion or 4.4 percent has been used for vaccination in the national scale. As for the national health care worker incentive, she added, only Rp442 billion or 5.7 percent has been used out of the total budget of Rp7.6 trillion.

The Minister stated that fund realization for both matters varies in each region, meaning that each region has a different speed. Therefore, she reminded the regional governments to accelerate the realization of the budget, especially since the first half of 2021 is almost over and the number of COVID-19 cases has increased significantly, so measures must be taken quickly to curb the pandemic.

“COVID-19 red zone was only found in 17 regions last week, but now it is in 29 regencies/cities. However, expenditure from Transfer to the Regions and Village Funds (TKDD), regional budgets, or DAU-DBH for COVID-19 management has not increased,” she said.

Furthermore, the Minister pointed out that physical Special Allocation Fund (DAK) with a budget of Rp7.3 trillion is also used to restore the economy and reduce the economic pressure in the regions through labor-intensive programs. Since the realization in 2020 only reached 83 percent, she expressed hope that the realization this year can be accelerated.

Sri Mulyani also expressed hope that the Regional Incentive Fund (DID) can be used to assist the health care sector besides boosting the economy, adding that non-physical DAK has been set aside to pay for health care facilities and workers in regional governments.

“These are what we expect. The role of regional governments is essential because not all budgets are allocated in the Central (Government). Use the TKDD. In this case, the execution depends on the leadership and acceleration of political processes in the regions,” she said.

Closing her statement, the Minister stated that the Government requires resources for tests, tracing, health care workers, and health care operational costs from community health centers, but apparently the budgets have not been used. Village Fund, she added, has been well-utilized for COVID-19 management with the realization of 76.38 percent in 2020 and 78 percent or Rp5.76 trillion this year.

“I urge all leaders, in this case, regents incorporated in the Association to take a look at this issue because if we are unable to control COVID-19, it means we will not be able to recover our national economy or the economy in your region. In fact, if (the number of) COVID-19 (cases) continues to soar, the regional economy will nosedive significantly,” she remarked. 

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