President Jokowi: Tackling Health and Economic Issues Should Go Hand in Hand
Date 11 Agustus 2020
Both health issue and economic issue are equally important amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
“I repeatedly remind mayors, regents, and governors to carefully manage health and economic issues with good accuracy,” President Jokowi said in his direction on the Acceleration of COVID-19 Pandemic Handling, Tuesday (11/8), at the Military Area Command (Kodam) III/Siliwangi in Bandung, West Java Province.
According to the President, regional governments should strictly monitor the distribution of social assistance and report any assistance shortages so the Central Government can assist to fulfill people’s basic necessities.
On social assistance, the President said that the Central Government has provided social cash transfers (BST), village direct cash assistance (BLT), the electricity subsidy for 450 VA customers and 50 percent discount for 900 VA customers, as well as economic stimulus for small businesses through banking.
“We are going to provide productive social assistance to help 13 million micro, small and medium enterprises hit by the pandemic. The emergency working capital assistance of Rp2,400,000 will also be provided for 13 million workers apart from 10 million people who participate in the pre-employment card program,” he said.
The pre-employment card, he added, is provided for laid-off workers, while another assistance will be provided for those workers eligible for the wage subsidy and who are active members of the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan).
According to the President, all economic stimulus provided aims to help boost the people’s purchasing power and domestic consumption in a bid to improve national economic growth to make it higher than that in this year’s previous quarter.
“We are aware that the country’s economy in the first quarter of 2020 grew 2.97 percent, while other countries recorded negative growths. However, our economic growth contracted by 5.32 percent in the second quarter. Earlier, West Java’s economic growth stood at minus 5.9 percent in the second quarter,” he added.
On that occasion, the President expressed belief that the country’s economy could post positive growth in the third quarter.
“Therefore, I urge governors, regents, and mayors to immediately allocate spending from regional budgets,” the President said.
The President further said that he noticed the budgets of Rp170 trillion were still in the bank and the Government needs to speed up the spending, especially in the third quarter.
“We still have July, August, and September to work hard so the country will not fall into recession. We should also be grateful for falling by 5.32 percent, while Italy dropped to 17.3 percent, Germany dropped to 11.7 percent, France dropped to 19 percent, America dropped to 9.5 percent. This is something we should be thankful for,” he said.
The President also ordered budgets realization, especially in the third quarter in July, August, and September since it is very decisive.
Therefore, the President ordered that the realization of the budget be accelerated especially in the third quarter of July, August and September, which is very decisive, adding that once spent immediately to return to the positive, there is still a chance.
“Once again, I would like to thank West Java administration for the hard work so the conditions can remain in control,” the President concluded. (TGH / EN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas