National Development Planning Minister, Prof. Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, S.E., M.Up., Ph.D., became keynote speaker in a socialisation of government development programme. He spoke on a topic themed Equality Boosts Sustainable Economic Growth on Thursday (24/8) at the UGM Graduate School, attended by UGM graduate students from different disciplines.
According to Bambang, Indonesia’s GINI Ratio is decreasing. This is due to the reduction in consumption proportion per capita on the upper level while the middle and lower levels experience an increase.
Bambang said the number of impoverished people decreased by 240 people in one year between March 2016 – March 2017. Poverty percentage decreased down to 10.64% with absolute number 27.77 million people. Bambang explained that poverty percentage was also affected by population increase from 258 million in March 2016 to 261 million in March 2017. He viewed that the good economic condition, including low inflation, is predicted to drive the achievement of poverty reduction target in 2017 to reach 10.5. “Low inflation can maintain impoverished people’s purchase power, especially on food commodities such as rice that contributes highly to poverty level,” said the Minister.
Meanwhile, good economic performance is key to job creation. Open unemployment rate continues to decrease since 2009. In 2017 open unemployment rate reached 5.33% or 7.01 million people.
“The government will continue to encourage investment by giving attention to intensive labour work, reducing job market barriers, and increasing skills and competence of human resource,” said Bambang.
Currently, said the Minister, the government had made wider policy to encourage the decrease of inequality. This includes job opportunity through skill improvement, certification, apprenticeship, and partnership as well as investment that employs massive human resource. According to Bambang, vocational school can be the solution to reducing unemployment. Besides, Vocational School can be the media for the development of work training centres based on competence and higher education development based on competence.
“Investment can be done not only in physical assets, but also in education, because education can break the poverty chain between generations, hence poverty rate will reduce,” he said.