Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government would consider offering additional stimulus for the tourism sector that has apparently borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama noted in a statement here on Friday that the sector is in need of special benefits, including tax reduction for hotels and restaurants that did not lay off their employees.

The matter was discussed during a videoconference meeting led by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Thursday (March 26).

Attendees at the meeting were Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama, Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah, and Senior Deputy of the Central Bank Governor Destri Damayanti.

"In connection with the disbursement of Pre-Employment Cards, we have suggested that laid-off employees should be given priority," he stated.

Meanwhile, Minister Hartarto noted that the government had prepared various schemes, including the cash transfer program (BLT), fiscal stimulus to bolster the tourism sector, and the Pre-Employment Card as a social safety net for the people most affected by the crisis.

"For the second stage of fiscal stimulus, some articles, including articles 21 and 25, will be extended to the tourism sector. We have prepared the cash transfer program for the most affected people, and Pre-Employment Cards are being channeled for laid-off workers," he elaborated.

According to the central bank BI, the current situation is far more complicated than the global economic crisis in 2008.

However, BI has prioritized issues pertaining to public health and social safety net while concurrently continuing to stabilize the financial sector.

"We are focusing on the public health sector and social safety net since this (the pandemic) has had a huge impact on the public. BI has also continued to stabilize the financial sector with our foreign exchange reserves," Damayanti remarked. Related news: BI buoyant foreign exchange reserves to suffice in guarding rupiah
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Translator: Ade Irma J, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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