Govt asks Indonesians to remain productive, innovative amid pandemic

Govt asks Indonesians to remain productive, innovative amid pandemic

Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, at an online discussion in Jakarta on Thursday.  (December 3, 2020). (ANTARA/AstridFaidlatulHabibah)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, urged the public to remain productive and innovative amid the COVID-19 pandemic to help the government recover from the impact of the health and economic crisis.

"In a situation like this, I hope that all levels of society, the actors of the interests, will be able to carry out productive activities. (I hope they would) Continue to come up with innovative ideas," Sri Mulyani said during an online discussion in Jakarta on Thursday.

The innovative ideas contributed by the community to remain productive will greatly help overcome the impact of the pandemic, said the minister.

Efforts need to be made considering that the current crisis has had an impact not only on public health, but also on the economy, education, and social activities of the community, she added.

Sri Mulyani said the government has utilized the State Budget instrument properly to deal with and handle the impact of COVID-19, allocating a budget of Rp97 trillion for the health sector and Rp233.69 trillion for social protection.

"We are using the state budget (APBN) instrument as an empowerment which is considered important to deal with COVID-19 and its impacts," she noted.

Not only health and social protection, she said, the government is also helping the business sector through various programs covering loan restructuring, interest subsidies, and the provision of working capital loans, productive assistance, and tax incentives.

The efforts made by the government through the state budget have been able to produce positive performance, namely a recovery in the third quarter from the previous quarter. Indonesia’s economy contracted 3.9 percent in the third quarter compared to 5.34 percent in the second quarter.

Sri Mulyani emphasized that the state budget must continue to carry out extraordinary tasks in the field of stabilization, distribution, and allocation, considering that the taxation sector revenue is very depressed.

"At the same time, we must be able to turn it back into a state financial instrument which is on health status," the minister remarked.

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