Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) affirmed that in the near future, he would announce steps to mitigate the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on the people.

"I will soon announce measures to mitigate the economic impact of the virus on the people," Jokowi stated at the Merdeka Palace here on Tuesday during a limited cabinet meeting held through teleconference.

He also ordered ministers, governors, district heads, and mayors to cut expenditure plans that are not considered to be a priority in the state budget and regional budgets.

The president cited as an example that they should cancel or postpone plans on travel, meetings, or other expenditures that are not proffering direct benefits on the people.

"Immediately make this cut since our fiscal conditions are quite difficult," he emphasized.

The head of state also reiterated the significance of refocusing activities and budget reallocation to expedite the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, both in connection with medical issues and social assistance to handle the economic problem.

"The legal basis is clear, notably last week, March 20, 2020, Presidential Instruction Number 4 of 2020 for refocusing and reallocation of the budget, once again not only (medical matters) but also to help the social economy of the community through social assistance," he explained.

He also reminded provinces and regions to make accurate calculations on the availability of basic commodities and maintain the people's purchasing power.

"Please look closely at the situation of the workers, especially daily workers, farmers, fishermen, and those engaged in MSMEs. We should maintain the public’s purchasing power, and production activities should continue," he added. Related news: Government to issue decree to ease goods, services provision
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Translator: Hanni Sofia, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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