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RI`s poverty level falls by 0.53 pct in March

Senin, 2 Juli 2012 22:23 WIB | 2.394 Views
RI`s poverty level falls by 0.53 pct in March
One of poverty portraits in Jakarta March 2012.(ANTARA documentation/Rosa Panggabean)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The number of poor people in Indonesia dropped to 29.13 million in March 2012, about 890,000 less than the figures recorded during same period last year, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

"This means 11.96 percent of the Indonesian population of around 237 million currently lives in poverty," BPS Chief Suryamin said here on Monday.

He added that Indonesia`s poverty rate fell by 0.53 percent in March 2012, compared with the same month last year, when 30.02 million, or 12.94 percent, of the Indonesian population reportedly lived below the poverty line.

"Over the past year, the number of poor people in urban areas declined by 399,500, to 10.65 million from 11.05 million, while the number of poor people in rural areas dropped by 487,000, to 18.48 million from 18.97 million," Suryamin said.

He noted that the increase in the daily wages of farm workers and construction workers, during the first quarters of 2011 and 2012, was one of the factors that led to a reduction in the number of poor people.

"The daily wages in the two quarters increased by 2.96 percent and 4.81 percent, respectively," Suryamin stated.

He said the percentage of urban poor dwellers in the lowest-income group that received low-cost or subsidised rice in the past three months rose to 17.2 percent from 13.3 percent.

"Such was also the case with rural areas, where the percentage increased to 17.2 percent from 13.3 percent," Suryamin added.

He pointed out that the percentage of urban poor dwellers in the lowest-income group that received free health services rose to 5.6 percent from 4.6 percent.

"Meanwhile, the percentage of poor people receiving free health services in rural areas also went up to 4.7 percent from 3.9 percent," Suryamin said.

He explained that the relatively low inflation rate and the high economic growth rate in the first quarter of 2012 also contributed to the decline in the poverty rate.

The Indonesian economy grew by 6.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012.(*)