President Jokowi Gives Directives on Government Financial Assistance
Date 24 Maret 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has slowed down global economy including the economy of Indonesia and around 186 other countries have infected by the virus.
Therefore, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo underlined that the Government must continue striving to anticipate the slowdown, to maintain people’s purchasing power, to reduce risks of lay-offs, and to maintain economic and people productivities throughout the country.
In his press statement at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Tuesday (24/3), President Jokowi delivered 9 (nine) assistance policies provided by the Government to maintain people’s purchasing power, they are, among others:
First, the President has instructed all ministers, governors, regents, and mayors to cut low priority spending in the State Budget (APBN) and the Regional Budget (APBD).
“Budget for official trips, less important meetings, and spending for matters which bring none direct benefit to the people should be curbed,” he said.
Second, ministries/institutions in the central and regional governments (at province, regency, city levels) should re-allocate their budget for the acceleration of COVID-19 mitigation, be it the health issue or economic issue which will follow later.
“We already have the legal basis. I have signed Presidential Instruction Number 4 of 2020 on Friday (20/3) that instructs refocusing programs, budget re-allocation, and acceleration of procurement of goods and services to support COVID-19 mitigation,” the President added.
Once again, the President asserted that his directives are not only for public healthcare but also to address economic impact of COVID-19 to the people.
Third, President Jokowi orders ministries/institutions, and regional governments at province, regency, and city levels to provide healthcare services to the people and to ensure the availability of staple food, as well as to maintain people’s purchasing power, particularly for low-income people.
“We must help labors, daily-paid workers, farmers, fishermen, micro and small sized business players to maintain their purchasing power so they can carry out their jobs as usual,” he said.
Fourth, the President also called for intensification of Cash Labor-Intensive Program but still complying with health protocols to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19, namely maintaining physical distancing.
“Cash Labor-Intensive Program at Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries must be executed immediately. Village Funds and programs of regional governments (at province, regency, city levels) must also prioritize labor-intensive method,” he said.
The programs will help people, farmers, hired labors, and fishermen in all villages around the country by still complying with health protocols.
Fifth, the Government will add credit of staple food cards for low-income households from Rp150,000 to Rp200,000 which will be disbursed once in 6 months. The Government has allocated Rp4.56 trillion for the program.
Sixth, the Government will also accelerate the implementation of Pre-employment Card as an effort to anticipate lay-offs, to anticipate significant decrease in income of daily-paid workers and micro business players so they can enhance their competencies and skills.
“Budget allocated for Pre-employment Card program reaches Rp10 trillion. Each beneficiary will receive incentive of Rp1 million per month for 3-4 months,” he added.
Seventh, in order to maintain purchasing power of workers in manufacturing industry, the Government will temporary exempt manufacturing workers form income tax payment (PPh 21) so they will have additional income. “Budget allocated for this measure reaches Rp8.6 trillion,” he added.
Eighth, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) will relax debt payment for small and medium enterprises of loan which worth up to Rp10 billion, be it loan granted by banking or non-banking industries.
“For business sector, the Government will provide lower interest rate and postpone loan repayment for 1 year,” the President stated.
Thus, he promised motorcycle taxi drivers who have to pay motorcycle installment and fishermen who have to pay boat installment to not worry since the Government temporary postpone interest and installment payment for a year.
“For banking sector and non-banking industries, do not collect the installment by any means including by using debt collector. It is against the law and I ask police officers to pay attention to this matter,” he said.
Ninth, the Government also provide interest gap subsidy for low-income households who are paying installment of subsidized house for 10 years.
“For interest rate above 5 percent, the gap will be paid by the Government. The Government will also provide down payment subsidy for subsidized housing. Budget allocated for this measure reaches Rp1.5 trillion,” the President said.
On that occasion, President Jokowi also called on all Government elements be it central or regional governments to always be responsive to the latest situation in people’s health and economy.
“We must work hard, join hands to face this problem,” he said adding that he also appreciated movement initiated by the community to disseminate physical distancing to the public.
“By maintaining discipline, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Bear in mind that we are a great nation, home for fighters, and we are able to face this global challenge,” the President concluded. (HIM/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany S
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana B