Indonesia Highlights: G20 Suspends Poor Countries' Debt Payments for Another Six Months | Indonesia Hits Half A Million Covid-19 Cases | Government to Extend Social Cash Transfers until 2021 due to Covid-19

November 24, 2020, 12.07 AM

KOMPAS.com – Poor countries are allowed to defer their debt payments until next year. Thanks to the G20 Leaders who have agreed to extend the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) until June 2021.

The move, which was announced at the end of the G20 Riyadh Summit on Sunday, is significant to many countries as they are unable to repay their debts during the challenging time due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Indonesia’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that the decision will be beneficial for the low-income countries to have sufficient fiscal space amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On the development of coronavirus, Indonesia reported more than half a million Covid-19 confirmed cases. The death toll from the virus reached a total of 16,002 nationwide.

Meanwhile, the government will extend its social cash transfers (BST) until 2021. This aims to lessen the burden of the underprivileged families during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today’s important stories in Indonesia, curated by Kompas.com editors:

1. G20 Suspends Poor Countries’ Debt Payments for Another Six Months

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati during the G20 Riyadh Summit which is held virtually on Saturday, November 21, 2020. BPMI Setpres Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati during the G20 Riyadh Summit which is held virtually on Saturday, November 21, 2020.

The G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia agreed to extend the suspension of debt payments for another six months to June 2021 for countries eligible under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), said Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Sunday.

The DSSI initially suspended debt service payments from May 1 2020 until the end of the year to boost the resiliency of poor countries hit by the pandemic.

“The goal is for low-income countries to have sufficient fiscal space to handle the Covid-19 pandemic,” Sri Mulyani told a press conference after attending the G20 Riyadh Summit on November 22.

She said that the DSSI discussion was also supported by multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Source: https://go.kompas.com/read/2020/11/23/192953974/g20-suspends-poor-countries-debt-payments-for-another-six-months.

2. Indonesia Hits Half A Million Covid-19 Cases

A Covid-19 vaccineSHUTTERSTOCK/solarseven A Covid-19 vaccine

Indonesia reported more than half a million Covid-19 confirmed cases on Monday, November 23. The government has announced 4,442 new confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the total to 502,110.

The number of recovered Covid-19 patients throughout the country reached 4,198, bringing the total to 422,386 recoveries today.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the virus increased 118 to a total of 16,002 in all 34 provinces and 505 regencies/cities in the country.

Source: https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2020/11/23/173342965/corona-indonesia-tembus-500000-ini-5-provinsi-dengan-kasus-terbanyak?page=1.

3. Government to Extend Social Cash Transfers until 2021 due to Covid-19

Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara (2nd-left) during his visit to Semarang regency in Central Java.KOMPAS.com/DIAN ADE PERMANA Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara (2nd-left) during his visit to Semarang regency in Central Java.

Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara said on Monday that the government will extend its social cash transfers (BST) until 2021, providing opportunities to beneficiaries who have yet to receive the funds amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I order [the relevant agencies] to verify again all data so that the beneficiaries will not be the same as there are many people who are in need,” the Cabinet Secretariat’s official website, setkab.go.id, quoted Juliari as saying on November 23.

He said that the extension of the BST program is part of the national economic recovery program to alleviate the burden of 10 million beneficiaries during the Covid-19 pandemic in 34 provinces across the country.

The government has allocated 12 trillion rupiahs ($848 million) for the distribution of the BST program.

Besides, the government will also extend the distribution of staple food programs to 18.8 million beneficiaries, with a total allocation of 45.12 trillion rupiahs ($3.1 billion).

The minister said the beneficiaries who have not received the social assistance funds, especially those who are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, can register themselves to the regional government for data verification.

Source: https://money.kompas.com/read/2020/11/23/063600026/jaga-pemulihan-ekonomi-pemerintah-bakal-perpanjang-program-bansos-tunai-hingga.

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