PEN task force outlines Indonesia's economic recovery strategy

PEN task force outlines Indonesia's economic recovery strategy

Deputy Finance Minister Suahasil Nazara. (ANTARA/Dewa Wiguna)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Economic Recovery and Transformation Task Force (Satgas PEN) on Wednesday described the government’s strategy for reviving the Indonesian economy, which has weakened in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“When the business world is experiencing a decline, it (economic recovery) cannot move fast, so the government will provide assistance and support to households and businesses so that the business world and households can continue to carry out consumption activities,” Deputy Chairperson of the PEN task force and Deputy Finance Minister Suahasil Nazara said during an online press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday.

According to the PEN task force, the government has disbursed Rp304.6 trillion of the total budget of Rp695.2 trillion allocated for handling the COVID-19 pandemic and the National Economic Recovery program as of September this year.

"If productive businesses can continue to invest, then they will be supported by the government, that is, COVID is handled, health is handled," Suahasil said.

In particular, the ministry can also encourage the economy through the governance of budget execution lists (DIPA), he noted.

"The difference with last year is that in 2019, we had known all of these programs before the budget (disbursal) started. But now, because of the COVID-19 situation, as the year progresses, we are formulating new programs. We have formulated interest subsidy, salary subsidy, and Banpres (presidential assistance programs)," Suahasil said.

This means that the ministry's DIPA is prepared if there is a program deemed necessary to run, he averred.

"This applies to all programs. In a normal year, there may be enough time for the DIPA process. But now, we are after it. It is our duty in the bureaucracy to continue to make the process smooth, but still with good governance, as we must be held accountable for the use of the budget properly, " Suahasil elaborated.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati had earlier assured that accelerated state expenditure realization till the end of 2020 would help build the momentum for economic recovery and prevent a further contraction.

“The government has used its budget, as can be seen in the 14-percent increase in government expenditure in August, 2020, including acceleration of expenditure for economic recovery,” Indrawati told the press while speaking about the state budget here on Tuesday.

The minister said the realization of government expenditure will boost economic growth in the short term, despite expectations of negative growth in the third quarter of 2020.

“The increase in government expenditure and the positive movement of the economy has indicated a significant recovery. The (expenditure) realization will continue to be expedited and is expected to bolster growth in the third quarter,” Indrawati explained.

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