Sri Mulyani Sets Up Stimulus Package to Offset Coronavirus Impact

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaFinance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has prepared a stimulus package comprising six policies to strengthen the national economy in 2020 following the new uncertainty emerging this early year, the coronavirus crisis.

    Sri explained that the government will first accelerate the disbursement of the social assistance budget, which includes the state-subsidized national health insurance (PBI JKN) in BPJS Kesehatan.

    “For the aid budget in February, March, and April, we will disburse Rp12 trillion,” said Sri during a press conference at the Finance Ministry Office in Jakarta, Wednesday, February 19.

    The disbursement of capital spending will also be expedited, such as by accelerating the implementation of tenders at the ministry. Up to January 31, 2020, the outstanding contracts had reached 51.5 percent, up from last year’s 32.1 percent.

    The former managing director of the World Bank added that the government will speed up the transfer of regional and village funds so that the spending could be quickened, for example, for productive activities that absorb local workers.

    In addition, the benefit of the staple food card (Kartu Sembako)for low-income households will be increased by 40 percent with a budget of Rp3.8 trillion. The government will also raise the subsidy of housing interest by some 244.000 units with a budget of Rp1.5 trillion.

    As for the tourism sector, the government pledged to provide incentives for travel agents that bring foreign tourists to Indonesia, given the country’s potential losses of 2 million Chinese tourists per year following the suspension of the direct flight of China-Indonesia due to the novel coronavirus. “I am still finalizing [the incentives],” Sri added.

    Moreover, Sri Mulyani asserted that the government will push for the digitalization of demand-based training for pre-employment cardholders and develop the existing training programs.

    FAJAR PEBRIANTO