For villages where COVID-19 (prevalence is not high), (and) community activities restriction is at Level 1, we make it easy to make adjustments should there be a budget for handling the pandemic that has yet to be disbursed
Jakarta (ANTARA) – The central government is seeking to help villages adjust and manage their unused COVID-19 handling budget through the issuance of Ministerial Regulation Number 128 of 2022 on village fund management, the Finance Ministry has said.
The regulation seeks to enable village governments to allocate their budget properly, in light of the recent pandemic situation, which has improved.
“For villages where COVID-19 (prevalence is not high), (and) community activities restriction is at Level 1, we make it easy to make adjustments should there be a budget for handling the pandemic that has yet to be disbursed,” head of the Village Fund Sub-Directorate of the Finance Ministry, Jamiat Aries Calfat, said at a webinar entitled “Kupas Completes PMK 128/2022,” which was followed online from Jakarta on Thursday.
President Joko Widodo had earlier issued Presidential Regulation Number 104 of 2021 requiring at least 40 percent of village funds to be allocated for providing village direct cash assistance, 20 percent for ensuring food and animal security, and 8 percent for handling COVID-19.
However, even with the Presidential Decree and Finance Ministry Regulation Number 190 of 2021, village governments hesitated to make adjustments to unused COVID-19 handling funds because for that, they needed to obtain information on the pandemic situation from the local COVID-19 task force first.
“In the Finance Ministry Regulation Number 128 of 2022, we emphasize that the adjustment of unused funds for COVID-19 handling can be done after the head of district or mayor as the village superstructure provides a certificate or recommendation,” Calfat informed.
A certificate or recommendation from the head of district or mayor could be used as a basis by village leaders to allocate the unused COVID-19 village funds for other things.
“Hopefully, with clarity regarding the letter from the head of district or mayor, the village government can make adjustments more quickly so that the use of village funds can be adjusted,” he said.
It is expected that the unused COVID-19 village budget would be used to fund other activities, such as restoring the village’s economy, improving food and animal security, and developing the medical sector.
“The central government continues to push for village funds, both the remainder of the village direct cash assistance or the remaining adjustments for COVID-19 handling, to be (used for funding) activities in line with the priorities of the central government. So, the policies of the central, regional, and village governments will be aligned to facilitate the target’s achievement,” he said.