Jakarta (ANTARA) - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati revealed that budget for the National Economic Recovery Program (PEN) had increased to Rp699.43 trillion in 2021, from Rp688.33 trillion.

This year's budget is up 21 percent, from last year's PEN realization, at Rp579.78 trillion, and is expected to be an effective driving force for economic recovery, especially in the first quarter of 2021.

"We are optimistic that the PEN budget, which has increased by 21 percent, will be an effective driving force for recovery, especially from January to February. This is expected to continue until March," Indrawati stated during an online press conference on the KiTA State Budget here on Tuesday.

The budgeted Rp699.43 trillion is focused in five areas: health, social protection, priority programs, business incentives, and support for MSMEs and corporate financing.

Related news: PEN allocation projected to reach Rp553.09 trillion in 2021: Hartarto

In the health field, the government has allotted a budget of Rp176.3 trillion, including Rp58.18 trillion for the vaccination program, Rp9.91 trillion for diagnostics (testing and tracing), Rp61.94 trillion for therapeutics, Rp18.61 trillion for health tax incentives, and Rp27.67 trillion for other treatments.

Some Rp157.41 trillion is allocated for the social protection programs that includes Rp20 trillion for pre-work allowance and Rp14.4 trillion for rural funds.

The government's priority programs receive Rp125.06 trillion of which Rp27.33 trillion is set aside for labor-intensive projects, Rp47.1 trillion for food security, Rp11.33 trillion for industrial areas, Rp10 trillion for regional loans, Rp16.65 trillion for ICT, Rp8.66 trillion for tourism, and Rp4.11 trillion for other priorities.

To support MSMEs and corporations, the government has assigned Rp186.81 trillion, including for interest subsidies for MSMEs amounting to Rp31.95 trillion.

As for business incentives, the apportioned budget reaches Rp53.86 trillion, including for tax incentives.

"PEN has jumped close to 21 percent of its budget since this is the most important driving force in our economy today," she stated. Related news: Realization of PEN budget reaches 63.3%

Translator: Astrid FH, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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