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BLT BBM To Maintain Purchasing Power

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By: Rahmat Siregar)*

Direct Cash Assistance (BLT) for Fuel Oil (BBM) is a Government policy to ease the people in adjusting the price of fuel. With this assistance, people’s purchasing power is expected to be maintained.

When the price of Pertalite type fuel is adjusted to 10,000 rupiah per liter, the government provides compensation in the form of BLT BBM. Funds amounting to 600,000 rupiah will be received by the small people and they can get it at the Post Office. There are more than 20 million Indonesian citizens at least who will enjoy BLT BBM and they are happy because it is distributed through the Post Office, so there is no bank account that can disburse it.

The transfer of fuel subsidy allocation is considered very appropriate because first, it is more accurate because it is directly enjoyed by the small people. Second, BLT BBM can reduce the level of poverty in Indonesia. During the pandemic, some people dropped their status from the middle class to the lower middle class because their financial conditions were less stable.

Head of BKKBN Hasto Wardoyo stated that the fuel subsidy could be right on target, because it reduces poverty and prevents stunting. In fact, the stunting rate in Indonesia is still 24% while the target of the National Mid-Term Development Plan is 14%.

In a sense, the BLT BBM subsidy given to the poor cannot reduce poverty because the community will be able to spend it so that the kitchen money is safe. They get basic necessities and various other basic needs by using BLT BBM. Clothing and food are the main needs of the community and can be spent using the BLT money.

In addition, BLT BBM can also be used to open a business, for example by selling home-cooked food. That way, the small people get capital and also enjoy the benefits of the MSME business (micro, small and medium enterprises).

Poverty and stunting are identical and if there is BLT BBM, it can eradicate stunting, especially for toddlers. If there is BLT funds, mothers can make eggs, milk, and other nutritious foods that are good for children. They can grow up and won’t be stunted, which is dangerous because it not only makes them less tall but also affects their intelligence.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Social Affairs Harry Hikmat stated that the poverty rate could decrease as much as 0.3% with the BLT BBM. This figure could even be 1% because there are various other assistance from the government. For example PKH (Program Keluarga Harapan), basic food assistance, etc.

By offering BLT, the little people can spend it in the market. The poverty rate can decrease because they can meet their basic needs without having to go into debt. Then, the money spent will increase the turnover of traders and the wheels of the country’s economy will continue to run fast. In this way, the state’s financial condition will improve because the market is dynamic.

Suahasil Nazara, Deputy Minister of Finance, stated that BLT BBM will reduce poverty. Even though there is an adjustment in the price of fuel, the condition of the community remains stable, and the poverty rate has even decreased. The reason is because the BLT will be a safety pad.

BLT BBM will reduce poverty because it can be used by small people and they are not too affected by changes in Pertalite type fuel prices. People feel happy because the government is paying attention and they are saved from poor status.

In addition to BLT BBM, small people also receive assistance in the form of BSU (social worker assistance) of 600,000 rupiah, especially for those who earn less than 3.5 million rupiah per month. The condition is that you must be active in BPJS Employment and your name can be checked on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

With the social assistance of workers, the poor will get additional spending money, in addition to BLT BBM. nor will it make them because of changes in fuel prices. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has provided various aids to prevent poverty in Indonesia.

The government is really imagining how the small people can still exist and not have a bad predicate, when there is an adjustment in fuel prices. Anything when conditions are still a pandemic, where the economy is not too stable. One way is to provide subsidies in the form of BLT BBM, which directly targets small people and can be used for kitchen needs.

The poverty rate in Indonesia can be reduced to 1% by offering BLT BBM as a safety cushion. Small people can still shop for basic needs and various other needs, without worrying about the price, because they use the BLT funds. The poverty rate will decrease slowly and Indonesia can rise from a developing country to a developed country.

)* The author is a contributor to the Pertiwi Institute

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