TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati shared her experiences of serving as Finance Minister and facing two global economic crises, in 2008-2009 and 2020.
“We never know it, that is fate,” said Sri in an online discussion on Friday, July 24, 2020.
However, Sri said she learned a lot from the past crisis, which taught her to take immediate decisions and suggest policies once the country began to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.
“So when we have the first COVID-19 cases in March, we advised the President to issue a regulation in lieu of law or Perpu so that the State Budget (APBN) could be relaxed. Indonesia is among countries that made quick decisions. When other countries announced it, we have already had it,” she added.
When the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, the government passed Perpu No. 1/2020 to adjust the 2020 state budget for COVID-19 handling.
The House of Representatives (DPR) was concerned about the matter since the government designed such a policy sans consultation.
Sri asserted that it was, however, a precarious situation that forced the government to take extraordinary measures through a Perpu. Such a quick decision making, she added, was gained from the previous crisis she dealt with in the past period.
“Why can we formulate it rapidly? Because I have been through a crisis in 2008-2009, so I know this situation may happen,” Sri Mulyani said. “So the benefit of having such ordeals is it gives us speed on decision making, although we are now struggling.”