Jakarta The President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, expressed gratitude to the press for helping the government in educating the public about health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am very grateful to the people of the press for helping the government to educate the public to implement health protocols and to help people to get correct and accurate information,” the President said at the 2021 National Press Day commemoration, held at the State Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The President congratulated all members of the press in the country on National Press Day.
He said he is aware that during the pandemic, all press personnel in the country continued working and were at the forefront of reporting on any developments in the situation. They served as a communication bridge between the government and the community while helping maintain optimism and hope, he remarked.
The President also said that he realizes the press is also facing difficulties in the current pandemic era.
“We all know that health and economic problems are burdening all countries including our country, Indonesia. I know that the press industry, like other private sectors, is also facing corporate problems, financial problems, which are not easy, as conveyed by the Chairman of the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI),” he explained.
Widodo said the government is trying to ease the burden on the media industry. The income tax payment (PPh 21) for media crews, for instance, has been included in the list of taxes to be borne by the government, which means the tax will be paid by the government until June, 2021, he added.
The President also asked that this matter be taken up by the Minister of Finance.
For the media industry, the reduction of corporate income tax (PPh badan) and exemption of import income tax (PPh impor), as well as acceleration of restitution and incentives will be valid until June, 2021.
“The incentives given to other industries have also been given to the media industry, including the exemption of electricity subscription. The relief is indeed insignificant, I know. I need to convey that the government’s fiscal burden is also in a very heavy position. Apart from dealing with health problems it is also hard to move the economy when the private sector experiences a significant slowdown,” the President explained.
Widodo said that one of the government’s big expenditures right now is on vaccines for the COVID-19 vaccination program.
At present, the government is working hard to continue obtaining vaccines, he stated.
Source: Antara News