Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono highlighted that the State Budget (APBN) had become the most crucial instrument to help the nation's economy recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The state budget is the only instrument that can be used for economic recovery," Hadimuljono stated during a webinar in Jakarta on Saturday.

The minister believes that currently, the state budget can boost economic growth.

Moreover, Hadimuljono pointed to a decline in several areas, such as the level of exports, imports, and investments.

The minister drew attention to President Joko Widodo’s statement that all ministries and institutions should be sentient of the dire situation and jointly share the burden during the pandemic.

Hadimuljono, together with echelon I officials from the Ministry of PUPR, had also vowed to help lower the burden on the state by giving up the ministry's budget allocation cuts.

The minister pointed to several challenges encountered in the infrastructure sector in the form of regional disparities, national competitiveness, urbanization rate, national economic recovery, and food insecurity for which food granaries can be developed in several regions outside Java.

The 2020-2021 priority program from the Ministry of PUPR is structuring strategic tourism areas, expediting toll road construction, boosting cash-intensive labor, and developing food estate areas and human resources. Related news: COVID-19 handling costs equivalent to 4.2 percent of GDP: Minister
Related news: Bappenas endorses budget planning to lower impacts of COVID-19

Translator: M Razi, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2020