Jakarta: The budget for the national economic recovery program (PEN) has been increased to Rp455.62 trillion, or about US$31.7 billion, for 2022, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has revealed.
"This indicates PEN has been included in the 2022 state budget," she said during a meeting with Commission XI of the House of Representatives (DPR RI) here on Wednesday.
According to Indrawati, the budget has been apportioned for three sectors—health (Rp122.5 trillion), social protection (Rp154.8 trillion), and economic recovery consolidation (Rp178.3 trillion).
The health budget will focus on vaccine supplies and treatment of coronavirus patients, which is still generating considerable hospital bills, she said.
Moreover, due to the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the spending budget for patient care reached Rp94 trillion in 2021, and there is still Rp23 trillion in bills to be paid in 2022, the minister informed.
"The health sector, especially in (patient) treatment, is under budget because once there is an increase in COVID-19 (cases), its (budget spending) realization would be higher," Mulyani explained.
Vaccine stocks are relatively available and budget realization for procuring vaccines will be lower because Indonesia has obtained a lot of COVID-19 vaccine grants, she highlighted.
Furthermore, for social protection, the focus will be on continuing recent years' PEN programs, such as the essential commodities card and the Family Hope Program (PKH), as anticipation and support in case some restrictions need to be reimposed due to a spike in Omicron cases, she said.
The budget for economic recovery consolidation will be re-arranged to smoothen its implementation, as the food resilience program has been included in the 2022 PEN program again, the minister added.
To support cooperatives, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and local governments, the government is offering smallholder business credit (KUR) and other types of funding, Indrawati said.