Hartarto: Omnibus law to help Indonesia escape middle-income trap

Hartarto: Omnibus law to help Indonesia escape middle-income trap

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, presents the government’s final views during the level II discussion on the Omnibus Bill on Job Creation at the Plenary Session, at the Senayan Parliament Complex in Jakarta on Monday (October 5, 2020). (ANTARA FOTO/Hafidz Mubarak A/pras/ac)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has stated that the law on job creation would serve as a solution for generating fresh employment opportunities and help Indonesia break out of the middle-income trap.

“The (omnibus) law is hoped to be a solution for creating new jobs, while still providing protection to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives, as well as elevating protection for workers and the labour force,” he said at a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Hartarto explained that the aim of the omnibus law on job creation is to simplify, synchronize, and trim regulations that hinder the creation of jobs.

The Coordinating Minister said job availability has been a challenge for Indonesia, an upper middle income country, as it works to achieve its target of breaking out of the middle-income trap.

“The challenge surely is to create jobs for the labour force in Indonesia,” he reiterated.

He said he believed that the demographic bonus that Indonesia possesses, along with the passage of an effective job creation law, would serve as a “golden” opportunity and help the country achieve its target.

Indonesia has 2.92 million young people, all of whom are in need of a job, he noted. While 87 percent of Indonesian workers have studied up to the middle-school level or lower, 39 percent have completed elementary education, he added.

"We will not rule out this golden moment because it is a momentum for Indonesia, especially now that we have been categorized as an upper middle income country," the minister said.

He assured that the job creation law, drafted by the government and the Indonesian House of Representatives, is in the interest of the people as it would provide legal certainty for job creation and employment.

"The job creation law is a law that emphasizes the interests of the people, (and it has been) compiled and pushed through the Indonesian Parliament. This confirms (its) legal certainty," he said.

The House of Representatives (DPR) and the Indonesian government on Monday passed the controversial omnibus bill into law amid mounting criticism over its provisions on labor rights, indigenous community rights, and environmental protection.

"According to what we heard, once again let me ask for approvals in this plenary session, can we all agree (to pass the bill into law)?" Deputy House Speaker Azis Syamsuddin from the Golkar Party, who led the session, asked fellow house members.

Most representatives attending the plenary session approved the bill's passage into law.

Before the deliberation, all political parties presented their views on the Omnibus Bill on Job Creation. At least six parties firmly endorsed the omnibus bill, while the National Mandate Party presented a note on the bill. Two parties — Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Democratic Party (Partai Demokrat)— opposed the bill's passage.

Following political party representatives, the government presented its views on why the bill needed to be passed into law. (INE)

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