JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The head of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has urged the government to accelerate the implementation of stimulus programs to reignite the economy after months of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) earlier announced that the country’s economy shrank 5.32 percent in the second quarter, the deepest contraction since the first quarter of 1999 during the Asian financial crisis.
“Kadin hopes that the government will accelerate the implementation of policies for the business, micro, and small-medium enterprises,” he said in a statement August 6.
“Also the government expenditures should be increased and accelerated to spur economic growth. And the government program on cash transfers (BLT) and pre-employment must be accelerated immediately to maintain the people’s purchasing power,” he said.
He went on to say that the distribution of capital loans for the micro and small-medium enterprises should also be done immediately to minimize the unemployment rate due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The move aims to decrease the contraction in the third quarter of 2020 and if this is not realized immediately, the process of economic recovery will take longer,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said, Kadin appreciates the steps taken by the committee of the national economic recovery such as providing financial assistance for employees in the private sector who are registered with the workers social security agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan).
The number of workers who will receive assistance reaches 13.8 million people who earn a monthly income of below 5 million rupiahs ($340). They will get 600,000 rupiahs ($49) for four months and the money will be distributed every other month.
He lauded the program as it will boost consumption and maintain purchasing power, while at the same time it will hold back the economic downturn in Indonesia in the future.
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