Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri said on Friday that disparity of income between rich and poor people in the country has increased due to more rapid income growth among the riches compared with that of the poor over the last few years.
The growing disparity between the poor and the rich can be seen in the gini coefficient ratio that has climbed to 0.41 from 0.39, the minister said. The higher the ratio is (set at maximum ratio of 1), the more serious the disparity in that country will be.
"Growth among poor people was recorded at minus 2 percent. Meanwhile at the same time, growth among middle class people may reach up to 7 percent. Those who run restaurants, cafes and plantations experience the fastest growth," the minister noted.
The unrelenting gini coefficient ratio was part of a parameter used by the government to lift the price of subsidized fuel, scheduled in June. The minister said most of the subsidized fuel has apparently been consumed by middle class.
He said that reducing fuel subsidy was part of efforts to improve the gini coefficient ratio.
He added that the government has allocated compensations for poor people to cushion against possibly higher inflation from fuel price hike.