Central, local governments must reallocate budget for corona handling

I have instructed all ministers and local governments to cut the budget for less important matters.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has given instructions to central and local governments to curtail budget allocation for matters of lesser importance and instead redirect the same for the handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The head of state noted during a videoconferencing meeting to discuss the monetary and fiscal policy from the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java on Friday that ministers and local governments should curtail unnecessary budget for matters, such as official trips, less important meetings, and expenditures on non-essential goods.

"I have instructed all ministers and local governments to cut the budget for less important matters. I have urged to cut the budget in many areas, including expenditure on official trips, meetings, and non-essential goods," Jokowi explained.

Jokowi noted that the state and regional budgets will prioritize three areas: the health sector for handling COVID-19; social safety net to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy; and incentive for business operators, including small- and medium-scale enterprises to continue their production.

The social safety net will encompass the Family Hope Program (PKH), Healthy Indonesia Card (KIS), Smart Indonesia Card (KIP), and Basic Necessities Card that will be evaluated on a regular basis.

"I have urged them to focus on three aspects, with the first being, the health sector, especially for handling COVID-19; second, the social safety net; and third, the economic incentive for business operators and small- and medium-scale enterprises, so they can maintain production and avoid layoffs," he expounded.

Jokowi has also ordered his aides in ministries as well as regional leaders to prioritize efforts to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the economy. The government's policies, both at the central and regional levels, should be able to maintain the public’s purchasing power amid lowering pressure arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

"I have ordered ministries, local governments, governors, district heads, and mayors, to do the same thing. The public’s purchasing power, especially of the poor, should be the main concern," Jokowi stated.

The president has also laid emphasis on the prompt distribution of the village fund for the labor-intensive program.

"The village fund should be disbursed soon, especially those for the labor-intensive program," he emphasized.

Source: ANTARA News

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