Maximize APBN use for adaptive, timely response to pandemic: minister

Maximize APBN use for adaptive, timely response to pandemic: minister

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati at the Spectaxcular event in Jakarta, Friday. (23/10/2020). ANTARA / Screenshot of the Directorate General of Taxes Youtube / pri.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati echoed the government's focus to continue to maximize utilization of the state budget (APBN) to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in an adaptive and timely manner.

"We will continue to use the APBN fiscal instrument to respond in an adaptive and timely manner," she stated at the Spectaxcular event in Jakarta on Friday.

The minister justified the need to take this step based on the threatening impact of this pandemic on over 210 countries in the world, including Indonesia.

Indrawati expounded that all community activities covering the economic and social aspects and also in the health sector have changed drastically and have almost come to a halt, thereby resulting in a deep contraction.

"Most of the world economies in the second quarter experienced deep contraction. Hence, the overall economic projection will also decline," she pointed out.

The minister noted that Indonesia, which also experienced an economic contraction of 5.32 percent in the second quarter, also continued to prepare actions and policies to bring about an improvement.

"In facing health challenges that have social and economic repercussions, the government must immediately take actions," she stated.

The minister explained that one of the government's actions was to channel a chunk of the state budget funds amounting to Rp695.2 trillion to the national economic recovery program (PEN).

The total budget comprises Rp87.55 trillion for health, Rp203.9 trillion for social protection, Rp120.61 trillion for business incentives, Rp123.46 trillion for MSMEs, Rp53.57 trillion for corporate financing, as well as Rp106.11 trillion for ministries (K)/institutions (L) and local governments.

The minister emphasized that the PEN budget must bring about improvements, such as minimizing economic contraction, providing assistance, and saving people from the threat of a health crisis.

"This is because in this difficult situation, the State Budget instrument has become an extremely important mainstay," she affirmed.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had earlier highlighted that the government’s key focus currently was dealing with public health issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitating economic recovery.

President Jokowi stressed that if public health conditions improve, it would accordingly reflect positively on the economic conditions.

The president believes that handling public health is the key to recovering from the crisis situation emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expediting efforts to realize domestic economic recovery would depend greatly on the results of the implementation of policies for handling the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated.

As of September this year, the government had disbursed Rp304.6 trillion of its Rp695.2-trillion budget for COVID-19 handling and the economic recovery program, according to the National Economic Recovery and Transformation Task Force (Satgas PEN).

“Until the end of September, we have succeeded in disbursing around Rp304.6 trillion from a total of Rp695.2 trillion, or 43.8 percent (of the budget),” head of the PEN task force, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, informed.

The total funds of Rp695.2 trillion have been distributed across six major sectors — Rp87.55 trillion for health, Rp203.9 trillion for social protection, Rp120.61 trillion for business incentives, Rp123.46 trillion for the MSME sector, and Rp53.57 trillion for corporate financing, with support from ministries/agencies as well as local governments amounting to Rp106.11 trillion. Related news: State budget deficit reached Rp682.1 trillion until Sept : Minister
Related news: State spending in draft 2021 state budget increases Rp2.5 trillion


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