The Jakarta Post
Jakarta has the greatest number of potential wage subsidy program beneficiaries of any province, recent data from the Manpower Ministry has shown.
Some 1,071,414 workers in the capital city are eligible for the subsidy, 19.48 percent of the 15.7 million targeted beneficiaries nationwide.
West Java came second with 1,029,830 workers, or 18.72 percent of the program’s total recipients, followed by Central Java with 702,531 workers (12.77 percent), East Java with 560,670 recipients (10.19 percent) and Banten with 455.193 people (8.28 percent).
North Sumatera (242,363 eligible workers), East Kalimantan (166,026 workers), Riau (152,850 workers), Bali (133,197 workers) and the Riau Islands (116,790 workers) were in sixth to tenth place respectively.
The government has allocated Rp 37.7 trillion (US$2.5 billion) from the state budget for the wage subsidy program, which is to be distributed to millions of workers earning less than Rp 5 million who are registered with the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan).
They will receive Rp 600,000 in monthly assistance for four months.
As of Friday, the government had transferred the aid to some 2.3 million beneficiaries throughout the country.
Read also: Wage subsidy may continue into next year, minister says
Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah said the government sought to spur household consumption and accelerate the country's economic growth.
"This wage subsidy is expected to increase workers' purchasing power and consumption, which in turn will have a multiplier effect on economic growth and people's welfare," Ida said in a statement on Monday.
She added that the government wished to protect workers' welfare, which had been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ida advised recipients to use the aid to purchase products from Small and Medium Enterprises [SMEs].
"The aid can be used for primary or secondary needs. However, it's better to use the funds to purchase SME products, so they can boost local industry," she said.
Ida said the ministry would monitor the disbursement of the aid closely and evaluate the process to ensure better distribution in the future.