Maintaining fiscal reform, vaccine key to growth: Hartarto

Jakarta Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has outlined three key steps to accelerate Indonesia’s economic growth and help put the economy back on the positive trajectory in 2021.

“The first key is maintaining household consumption to push the people’s purchasing power since it contributes 57 percent to the national gross domestic product (GDP),” he said at a CEO Forum webinar in Jakarta on Tuesday.

To achieve this end, he underscored the importance of pushing middle and upper classes’ confidence in the national economy so that they spend on domestic goods and services.

The purchasing power of lower and middle classes can be maintained by intensifying social assistance and social protection programs and empowering micro, small, and medium businesses through People’s Business Credit (KUR), among others, he said.

The second key step is accelerating fiscal and structural reforms through job creation law, budget reforms, and creation of an investment management institute (LPI), he added.

The Investment Priority List (DPI), or positive list, is also expected to increase investment flows to the country, he said.

The third key step is related to vaccination, which will serve as a game-changer in restoring the national economy, the minister remarked.

The number of Indonesian citizens who need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity is 181.5 million, or 70 percent of the country’s total population, and the vaccination program will target citizens aged above 18 years and people with controllable comorbidities, Hartarto said.

Nearly 1.2 million vaccine doses have been sent to each province in the country between January 3 and January 15, 2021. The provincial health offices will distribute the vaccines to each district for the vaccination program, he added.

“In the first stage of the vaccination period from January to April, 2021, the vaccination (program) will target 1.3 million medical workers in 34 provinces, 17.4 million public officers, and 21.5 million senior citizens,” he said.

However, senior citizens aged above 60 years will be vaccinated after the government receives the results of the third phase clinical tests on the safety of the vaccine for this group, he added.

During the second phase from April, 2021 to March, 2022, the vaccination will be administered to an estimated 63.9 million vulnerable citizens, who live in red zones or areas with a high risk of COVID-19 transmission, the minister said.

The vaccination program will later target 77.4 million citizens using a cluster approach, in accordance with the availability of vaccines, he added.




Source: Antara News

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