The Indonesian government is seeking to create jobs for 15 million people over the next three years as part of an expanded poverty alleviation campaign, a newspaper reported Friday.
The government would prioritize two programs to reach that goal: people empowerment and biofuel, reported The Jakarta Post.
Coordinating Minister for the People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie has claimed the people empowerment program had actually been running since 1998 in 34,200 villages across the country.
The program is expected to generate jobs for 12.5 million people, assuming each project will absorb 250 people in a specific area for three years, said Aburizal. "The projects work, but we need to extend them to 50,000 more villages by 2009," he said after a cabinet meeting Thursday.
"The types of projects are determined based on local conditions. "
The remaining 2.5 million jobs are expected to come as the government opens plantations to support its biofuel program.
Critics have called the anti-poverty projects ineffective, pointing to the steady rise in the number of poor people over the past few years. But Aburizal said that without the programs, poverty would have been even worse.
"We hope that the coordination between the relevant Cabinet ministers can go better. We have agreed that 20 percent of the total state budget allocated for poverty alleviation will go to these two programs," he said.
The government has increased next year's poverty alleviation budget to 51 trillion rupiah (5.6 billion ), from 43 trillion rupiah (4.7 billion dollars) in 2006.