Member of the Presidential Advisory Council (Wantimpres), Dr H Soekarwo, SH., M.Hum ., said the government needs to focus on increasing people’s purchasing power, especially the bottom 40% group and increasing the role of MSMEs in the digital economy going forward. This was stated by Pakde Karwo, Soekarwo’s nickname, in the “2022 People’s Economic Outlook Airlangga Forum” which was held by the Graduate School of Airlangga University, Friday (12/31/2021).
According to Pakde Karwo, national and global economic trends are improving, but several potential risks, such as the new variant of the Omicron covid-19, high energy commodity prices, accelerated Fed monetary tightening, and China’s economic slowdown need to be watched out for. “Maintaining the purchasing power of poor and vulnerable households is very important through social protection programs and strengthening labor-intensive programs,” he said.
In addition to strengthening MSMEs by facilitating access to financial institutions, increasing MSME digital penetration and expanding strategic partnerships between MSEs and UMBs, the government needs to maintain and increase the budget for a number of social assistance programs including the Family Hope Program (PKH), Cash Social Assistance (BST), Rice Assistance , Village Fund Direct Cash Assistance (BLT DD) and Electricity Subsidy. “It is hoped that the social assistance budget is at least or greater than Rp. 187 trillion,” he said.
The event also featured speakers from the Director of the Unair Postgraduate School Prof. Dr. Badri Munir Sukoco, the Deputy Director of the Unair Postgraduate School Prof. Dr. Rudi Purwono, the Chairman of the East Java Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Adik Dwi Putranto and the Secretary General of One Islamic Boarding School One Product (OPOP) East Java Mohammad Ghofirin.