President advises greater use of govt spending to spur consumption

President advises greater use of govt spending to spur consumption

President Joko Widodo at the Google For Indonesia event, held online on Wednesday  (November 18, 2020). (ANTARA/Arnidhya Nur Zhafira)

In November, (we) still have Rp40 trillion (allocated) for construction (projects). If they are completed, then what they will look like. If they are buildings, they will collapse. If they are bridges, they will collapse, too.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has ordered his staff to make maximum use of government spending in the remaining one-and-a-half months of the year to increase public consumption and bring about national economic recovery.

The government needs to increase the money in circulation with the public to support economic activities, he said at a national coordination meeting on the procurement of the government's goods and services, held online here on Wednesday.

One of the ways to propel economic activity is to realize the government spending program, Widodo pointed out.

"We remember government consumption contracted 6 percent in the second quarter and grew 9 percent in the third quarter. That is our economic trigger. The economy contracted 5.32 percent in the second quarter and showed a positive trend in the third quarter, though it still contracted 3.49 percent," he elaborated.

The President then listed several government programs which remained stuck on account of the pandemic. Some construction projects were not started until mid-November, 2020.

"In November, (we) still have Rp40 trillion (allocated) for construction (projects). If they are completed (in a hurry), then what they will look like. If they are buildings, they will collapse. If they are bridges, they will collapse, too. We only have a few months left. Don't do it all again at the end of year," he cautioned.

During the crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, government spending can propel demand and public consumption, which, in turn, can boost the economy, he said.

He urged the Government Goods/Services Procurement Policy Institute (LKPP) to devise ways to make optimum use of information technology. By doing so, the government can supervise the procurement of government goods and services, he said.

"(LKPP) can remind ministers, heads of government institutions, and regional heads to accelerate (the procurement of government goods and services). Moreover, during this pandemic, it is very important to accelerate it," Widodo explained.

At the meeting, the head of state also expressed regret over his staff and regional governments performing routine work and failing to accelerate job creation.

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