What I like most is the availability of infrastructure in villages. It is the basic foundation for development all over the country,” the President said, adding that there were around 74,000 villages across the country.
Jokowi made the statement during a visit to Surabaya, East Java, on Saturday.
During his visit Jokowi was accompanied by First Lady Iriana, Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Eko Putro Sandjojo and East Java Governor Soekarwo, among others.
Jokowi said he was pleased to have received reports about the use of village funds in East Java.
East Java’s village funds amounted to Rp 19.8 trillion (US$1.42 billion) and its realization reached 99 percent, according to Soekarwo.
If more money was circulated in villages, the welfare of locals would be significantly improved, Soekarwo noted.
Since 2015, the Jokowi administration has disbursed Rp 257 trillion in village funds — Rp 20.7 trillion disbursed in 2015, Rp 47 trillion in 2016, Rp 60 trillion in 2017, Rp 60 trillion in 2018 and Rp 70 trillion in 2019.
“More funds will be disbursed in 2020, 2021 and 2022 [for village development], because that will be the foundation of the country’s progress,” said Jokowi, who is seeking reelection in April.