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Quick Impact Program 7: Continuing Village Infrastructure Development, Direct Cash Assistance (BLT), and Providing Affordable, Well-Sanitized Housing for Those in Need

By: Prabowo Subianto [excerpted from “National Transformation Strategy: Towards Golden Indonesia Emas 2045,” pages 170-171, 4th softcover edition]

Continuing the development of village and sub-district infrastructure, Direct Cash Assistance (BLT), and ensuring the provision of affordable, well-sanitized housing for those in need, especially for the millennial generation, Generation Z, and low-income communities (MBR), is crucial.

In October 2013, as the Chairman of the Gerindra Party, I met with representatives from various village organizations at the Gerindra Party’s central office. Attendees included representatives from APDESI (Association of Indonesian Village Apparatus), PPDI (Indonesian Village Apparatus Union), AKD (Village Head Association), Parade Nusantara (Nusantara Village People’s Union), HKTI (Indonesian Farmers Harmony Association), KTNA (Contact of Farmers and Fishermen’s Mainstay), APPSI (All Indonesia Market Traders Association), and INKUD (Primary Village Cooperative Association).

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I shared that Indonesia has the capacity to accelerate rural economic development by directly channeling state budget funds to villages and organizations that stimulate the people’s economy, such as Village Unit Cooperatives, farmer and fisherman cooperatives, and market cooperatives.

Village development funds should be directly transferred to the villages. The utilization of these funds should be decided by the village communities through deliberative councils.

This proposal was based on the understanding that Indonesia’s economic structure is unbalanced and unfair. The majority of Indonesians live in rural areas, yet 60% of the money circulating throughout Indonesia is concentrated in the capital, Jakarta.

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We must be brave enough to change this economic structure. Indonesia’s economic resources should be utilized for the prosperity of the Indonesian people, not just enjoyed by a select few in the capital and major cities.

Developing from the village level should be a primary strategy in national development. Thankfully, even though I did not join President Jokowi’s government after the 2014 elections, he shared my perspective on this issue. Starting in 2015, village development began on a large scale with the introduction of the Village Fund. Now, so much village infrastructure has been built. In fact, the latest records show that more than 320,000 km of village roads, thousands of reservoirs, thousands of village halls, and other village infrastructures have been constructed.

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I believe that programs related to village development that have already been implemented must be continued and enhanced. In addition to building village infrastructure, we also need to construct affordable housing with proper sanitation for those in need. Currently, too many Indonesians live in unsuitable housing without adequate sanitation. Because there are also tasks that need to be carried out across villages, we also need to provide Sub-district Funds to build necessary facilities.

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