Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia to Participants of the 2021 Regional Head Coordination Meeting, Wednesday,14 April 2021, from the State Palace, Jakarta
Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,
Peace and prosperity be upon us,
Greetings of virtue.
Honorable Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet and Heads of Institutions;
Honorable Regional Heads and the Regional Leadership Communication Forum (Forkopimda);
First of all, I would like to congratulate you, Ladies and Gentlemen, who have been appointed as Governors, Deputy Governors, Regents, Deputy Regents, Mayors, and Deputy Mayors. Earlier, I received a report from Minister of Home Affairs, that today there are 114 incumbents and 255 new ones.
Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen,
The position given to you is indeed an honor, but it is also a big responsibility, a heavy responsibility. Therefore, do not just follow the existing procedures. They must be goal-oriented, they must be result-oriented. Our orientation is the results. You must have the courage to innovate, not just carrying out routine, be careful. You must work at high speed.
Thus, when working, don’t only be satisfied with reading reports. Check the field, observe the field, control the field. Today, innovation, speed, and accuracy of policies are urgently needed, therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, you have to make a focused policy with a clear priority scale so that later the budget allocation is also more focused and concentrated.
I saw that one province had up to 40,000 activity budget items. In my opinion, the fewer activities to manage, the easier they are to control and check and the results will be visible. For that reason, I want you to make just one, two, or three major activities with a budget that is concentrated on these activities. Thus, the results will be seen and the benefit will be felt by the community.
For example, there is a regency with a budget of Rp2 trillion, for example. Be careful, I entrust you personnel expenditure, development expenditure, capital expenditure, which one is bigger. Make an effort for bigger (parts) of development and capital expenditures than that of personnel expenditure. If you have figure out the development and capital expenditures, don’t just divide an even amount of budget to every unit or agency.
Be careful, once again, which ones do you prioritize? Give two priorities or a maximum of three priorities, after that, 60 percent of the budget should be concentrated there, the rest can just be given to other units, so that it becomes transparent. “I want smooth (condition) of roads from the regency roads to those on the villages.” Well, concentrate the budget there for maybe a year or two, if it’s done, move to the other. “I want to concentrate on developing markets in all regencies, for example 60 markets.” Finish it in a year or two, so that the people can see. Or, if you want to build a school, “the schools in my regency, all have to be good.” So we know which one is the priority, which one is the flagship.
Do not let, once again, the budget scattered in every agency, in every unit, every year, the budget was spent, but there was no impact at all, its benefit was not felt by the people. Be careful with this, because the Regional Budget can trigger economic growth in your regions.
Because you are leaders in the provinces, regencies, and cities, you must have the courage to decide this. If not, I need to remind you, if you cannot consolidate this, the management should not be like what I said earlier, the budget is scattered in the agencies, in existing units, because the problem is always there, because the results of your leadership, they are not felt by the community, so you will not be elected again, because the budget just lost every year, there is realization every year, but the people do not enjoy the benefit.
Secondly, our current focus is on accelerating health and economic recovery, our health and economic recovery. It is the duty of all of you to manage both of them properly. The gas and brake should really be well-implemented since COVID-19 is not visible to the eyes. Do not put the economy first and ignore the spread of COVID-19, if this happens positive cases will increase and the economic growth will slow down.
Therefore, once again, preventing the COVID-19 spread must be a priority, while treating COVID-19 patients exposed to the virus must also be carried out consistently. Be careful, because COVID-19 is not visible to the eyes.
Last January, for instance, I don’t have to name the country, they recorded a decrease in confirmed cases. Once they opened the economic sector, the cases soared high in March. Be careful with that. Don’t rush to open existing sectors just because the cases have dropped. Do that sector by sector carefully. The method must be precise so that we can control the economic impact properly.
We remember, in January, our daily active cases were at 14,000, even up to 15,000. Today, it’s been two weeks, two-three weekish, our national daily cases stood at 4,000-6,000.
Therefore, first, enforce the micro-scale public activity restrictions (PPKM Mikro) to find new existing cases. Then, do isolate the smallest environment before the case spreads even further. Thus, don’t impose lockdown on a city or regency. If in one regency the cases only occur in one or two villages, then isolate the exposed village to prevent further spread.
Also, dissemination of information and enforcement of health protocols should continue. The Indonesian National Defense Forces, the National Police, and Forkopimda will assist. Likewise, for those who need treatment, check the availability of medicine for the next few weeks, or for the next few months. Everything must be checked. We have to work meticulously, we can no longer casually work on these matters of COVID-19 and economy.
Then, support the vaccination program fully. If the PPKM Mikro runs well, health protocols are strictly enforced, also vaccination program runs smoothly, with clear targets, the target is first and foremost, I’ve repeatedly said this, the health workers, public servants, elderly, also locations with high inter-community interaction and high mobility, they should be given priority first. In this way, we hope that we can soon achieve health recovery. In July, we want our target of at least 70 million of our population to have received vaccination. We will see the curve heading down in July, if the 70 million people received the vaccination.
Second, in the economic sector. Many got laid off due to factories stopping production during the pandemic. Therefore, I also ask the Regional Budget to facilitate jobs provision for lower class of society. By multiplying labor-intensive programs for job creation, while waiting for the economy to fully recover. Repairing roads, building irrigation and school are a form of labor-intensive programs. This will drive the local economy and provide jobs for our people.
Immediately execute the social expenditure, the social assistance, because the people are waiting, the people need it. The Central Government provides social assistance. For locations that have not been touched by social assistance from the Central Government, the regional governments should provide. Also, help micro, small and medium enterprises, be it in production capital or marketing because this will drive the regional economy. Prioritize them, the micro and small businesses.
Third, on investment. Give full support, full service to new investments. Almost all countries are now concentrating on investment. We already have Job Creation Law. The implementation of this Job Creation Law in the regions must be fully supported because it will open up investment. Because the slowdown on investment permits… nowadays, at the BKPM (Investment Coordinating Board), it is very fast, the process to get permits is very fast. You can observe the BKPM, you can see how fast the process is.
Therefore, in the regions, be it in the provinces, regencies or cities, do not delay the investment permits. Because the investment creates jobs. This means that by slowing down the permits we will also slowing down the job creations in existing provinces, regencies and cities led by all of you.
Second, what does it mean to slow down the investment permit? It means slowing down regional economic growth, which also means slowing down national economic growth. Be careful, the key to national economic growth is the aggregate economic growth in the regions. If the regional economy does not increase, it means that the national economy will not increase either. Be careful about this, because it is impossible for the State Budget – Regional Budgets to increase significantly. Therefore, we can increase economic growth through investment and exports. Therefore, I really want to emphasize on investment.
Third, investment also provides income to the state, provides income to the regions, because that’s where we can collect taxes, that’s where we can collect retribution. Be careful, 76 percent of the country’s income comes from taxes, 76 percent of the country’s income comes from taxes, that’s huge. If there is a new investment, establishment of a company, establishment of a factory, establishment of industry, it means that we can collect taxes, there are additional ones. And the biggest tax is indeed from business entities, namely limited liability companies.
Therefore, give full support to the business world, to those who wants to invest, or those that have already to soon emerge stronger, this is very important.
Be careful in the second quarter of this year, meaning the months of April-May-June, this is a very decisive time, on whether our economic growth can increase or not. Otherwise, on our next quarter, it will be really really tough. We have to be able to increase, raise at least above seven percent in the second quarter. It’s not something easy. But if we have support from the regions, support from the provinces, support from the cities, support from the regencies, all of us work together, I believe this can be easy. Because once we can reach the target in the second quarter, like I said earlier, the next quarter will be easier.
This concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion. And, once again, just like what I have said earlier, please do all these together so that we can soon get through this COVID-19 pandemic and our economy can bounce back to a normal and better position.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. (FI/MMB)