Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia In Plenary Cabinet Meeting through Video Conference, 14 April 2020, at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province
Date 16 April 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Honorable Vice President, Ministers, Head of Institutions,
This Plenary Cabinet Meeting to be convened from morning until afternoon will discuss budget refocusing and reallocation, as well as macroeconomic projection and main points of fiscal policies in 2021.
First, regarding budget refocusing and reallocation. I need to reiterate that all ministries, institutions, and regional governments must review the State Budget and regional budgets. Low priority spending must be cut. Once again, low priority spending must be cut. Do eliminate budget posts for less important matters: official trips, meetings, and spending for matters which bring no direct benefits for the people.
We all must focus, focus, and focus on the efforts to mitigate COVID-19, be it the health issues or economic and social issues.
I have said on many occasions to always prioritize the three issues. Health issue in mitigating COVID-19, social safety net program, and economic stimulus for MSMEs and business players.
Second, I have noticed that there are some regions that have not revised their regional budgets. I order Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance to warn regional heads. There are 103 regions which have yet to allocate (regional budgets) for social safety net program. 103 regions have not allocated budget for social safety net program. There are also 140 regions which have not allocated budget to anticipate the economic situation. Not to mention that 34 regions have not submitted their budget plan for the mitigation of COVID-19. That means among regional heads, there are some who have not responded well to this unusual situation.
Once again, I order Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance to draft a guidance for regional budget reallocation and refocusing of the existing programs. Thus, the Central Government (and) regional governments can share one vision and priority to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Third, to be upfront, development target and economic growth in 2020 will be corrected sharply. It does not only happen in Indonesia but also in other countries. Other countries are also going through similar condition. Various international institutions, be it the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and others have predicted that the global economy in 2020 will enter a period of recession. From the last calculation that I have obtained, global economic growth might be 2.8 percent lower or reach -6 percent.
Therefore, we must prepare various scenarios. We should not be pessimistic, but we must keep on trying and working hard to recover both in health and economic sectors. We can do it, insha Allah (God Willing).
Fourth, we must remain vigilant against the continued impact that the COVID-10 pandemic brings on the economy in 2021. Do carefully calculate the potentials, opportunities, and various risks that may persist both in domestic market and the global market. Let me remind you that we must focus on our big mission, namely structural reforms that must continue to go on. Reforms to accelerate development and to create equitable development, both in the forms of regulatory reform, bureaucratic reform, reforms in increasing productivity, and also economic transformation. That is our big mission.
Lastly, on the handling of COVID-19, I would like to deliver 6 important points.
First, implementation of massive sample test must be expanded. Massive sample test must be carried on through aggressive tracking procedures and followed by a strict isolation. To Chairperson of the COVID-19 Task Force, Minister of Health, the Indonesian National Police (Polri), and the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), do pay close attention to the issue. Massive sample test, aggressive tracking procedures and followed by strict isolation.
Second, adequate medical facilities and infrastructure, including the use of technology such as body sensors, big data, IoT (Internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) must be provided. I would also like to express my appreciation for the collaboration that we have made with technology companies through telemedicine services. Therefore, the people do not need to see the doctor or to go the hospital. They can consult their health through telemedicine.
Third, regarding effective communication that provides transparent information to the media. It must be disseminated in a transparent and detailed manner. Do not let the information replete with negative vibes that makes the public focus only on negative things.
Fourth, law enforcement with the support from state apparatus must be upheld. This is important so that we can really have a strong discipline to deal with this issue.
Fifth, I need to underline this issue though I have mentioned it several times before, namely logistics flow which should not be disrupted, both from the Central Government and from logistics warehouses to the regions.
Lastly, economic stimulus issued must meet the target. Those policies are aimed at breaking the COVID-19 transmission chain.
And that concludes my statement.
Translated by : Rany Anjany S
Reviewed by : M Ersan Pamungkas