The Jakarta Post
The government kicked off the distribution of non-cash food subsidies in the form of cards on Thursday in Cibubur, East Jakarta.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo symbolically handed over cards to 1,879 housewives from Jakarta, Depok and Bogor, warning them not to use the cards to buy less urgent things.
"Do not use the card to up your phone balance or give it to your husband to buy cigarettes. If we hear of that, we will revoke the card," he said.
The so-called Prosperous Family Card (KKS) functions as a form of e-money. The cards are supplied by Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) and Bank Mandiri.
(Read also: Government to distribute rice, sugar through cards)
Selected households receive a Rp 110,000 food subsidy per month through the card.
They can use the card to buy rice and sugar from agents or from the Social Affairs Ministry's appointed stores called e-warungs.
In total, there are 15,878 agents ready to distribute the subsidy.
Meanwhile, the households that are included in the Social Affairs Ministry's Family Hope Program (PKH) will receive Rp 1,890,000 each year. This money can be withdrawn four times a year and the welfare program has also been integrated into the KKS.
This year, the government aims to distribute the cards to 1.29 million families across 44 cities. The total value of the subsidy will reach an estimated Rp 1.7 trillion. For 2018, the government plans to expand to subsidy to 10 million families. (bbn)