This is part of the efforts to adapt to the new normal as an unavoidable situation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) supports the government's economic projections submitted by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in spite of the uncertainty.

Kadin Chairman Arsjad Rasjid stated here on Tuesday that the association was also optimistic about the president's statement that Indonesia would record an economic growth of five percent in 2022 in line with the 2021 second-quarter growth.

However, Rasjid reminded the government to continue to prioritize the health recovery program as a vital solution to boosting the economy.

"Kadin Indonesia feels realistic and optimistic that the government will achieve this growth rate. The point is that we support and offer advice to the government," Rasjid noted in a written statement.

Kadin believes that the government should apply three key policies in the midst of the pandemic that encompass efforts to prioritize health recovery, economic revival, and social protection.

"We have to realistically realize that we are currently living in a pandemic as the new norm of life," he affirmed.

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Kadin and businesspersons have accepted the extension of the policy on community activities restrictions (PPKM), as they believe the decision was taken after meticulous calculation and deliberation, Rasjid noted.

However, the government should also take into account the possibility of opening up activities in the manufacturing and retail sectors on grounds that its workers adhere to strict health protocols and get vaccinated to ensure smooth running of economic activities.

"This is part of the efforts to adapt to the new normal as an unavoidable situation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic," he affirmed.

While delivering the 2022 Budget Bill (APBN) and the Financial Note at the parliament complex, President Jokowi was optimistic that Indonesia would record an economic growth of around five to 5.5 percent in 2022 despite the situation still being overshadowed by uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This projection is higher than the forecasted figure of five percent this year.

Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, the president also highlighted the need for readiness to address other global challenges. To this end, the 2022 State Budget must be designed flexibly to respond to such uncertainty but still reflect optimism and prudence.
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According to Jokowi, the health budget is estimated to reach Rp255.3 trillion, or 9.4 percent of the state spending.

The government also targets tax revenues in 2020 to reach Rp1,506.91 billion in the Draft State Budget for the Fiscal Year 2022, growing by 9.5 percent from the outlook for tax revenues of Rp1,375.8 trillion in 2021. However, in comparison with the target of Rp1,229.6 trillion in the State Budget for the Fiscal Year 2021, the projected tax revenue in 2020 will increase by 22.5 percent.

"Refocusing and restructuring the budget is deemed necessary in the era of the pandemic. However, health recovery and the provision of social assistance and subsidies still rely on the state budget. Most importantly, (the government) needs to prioritize health and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The government must also be careful regarding taxes. We believe all companies are keen to contribute by paying taxes,” he remarked.

However, the government must realize that several industries have been acutely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so tax obligations are considered as burdensome. Hence, Rasjid has encouraged the government to delineate industries subject to taxes and those eligible for relaxation.

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Translator: Subagyo, Katriana
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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