Coronavirus Pandemic May Increase Poverty Rate: Researcher

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaCenter of Reform on Economics' (CORE) research director Piter Abdullah said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic might generate a significant impact on Indonesia’s economy, such as the hike in the poverty rate.

    CORE predicted that the country’s economic growth would drop to around 4 to 4.5 percent. “The low economic development may raise the poverty rate again,” said Piter to Tempo on Thursday, March 19.

    The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded the poor population in Indonesia amounted to 24.7 million people or 9.22 percent of the total population as of September 2019.

    However, Piter stopped short of detailing the pandemic impact, adding that it would likely slow down the economy due to the declining figures of production, exports, investment, and consumption. “Everything goes down because many people lose their jobs and their income drops.”

    Therefore, He asserted that new incentive packages would be necessary such as direct assistance for poor families or those directly affected by the pandemic and financial aid for micro, small, and medium enterprises despite they are not adequate to minimize the weakening economy.

    Earlier, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government is preparing economic stimulus package volume III that focuses on the health sector and the social network, viz. the family hope program, micro-credit program, staple-food cards, and non-cash food assistance programs in a bid to curb the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

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