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Jakarta Post

Govt hopes to tackle inequality between regions

  • Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 16, 2019   /   07:44 pm
Govt hopes to tackle inequality between regions Oxfam's latest report, “Private Wealth or Public Goods,” shows that the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by 12 percent or US$2.5 billion a day last year. (Shutterstock/File)

The government is optimistic that it can reduce inequality and poverty rates next year by continuing current socio-economic initiatives.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo read the annual financial note speech on Friday, saying the government expected inequality to go down to between 0.375 and 0.380 on the Gini coefficient next year.

Indonesia’s Gini coefficient – a universal measuring tool where figures closer to zero indicate a more equal society – last stood at 0.384 in March, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data.

“State expenditure in 2020 will be focused on reducing inter-regional inequality. Thus, we will continue developing regions outside Java Island,” he said, referring to the country’s imbalanced economic concentration in Java.

Indonesia is more equal than Malaysia (0.41 Gini coefficient) and the Philippines (0.40) but not Thailand (0.365) and Vietnam (0.353), according to World Bank estimates.

The government also expects poverty rates – defined as the proportion of citizens earning less than Rp 425,250 (US$29.90) each month – to decrease to between 8.5 percent and 9.0 percent of the total population.

Indonesia’s poverty rate stood at 9.41 percent in March, according to BPS data.