Government trying to stoke public consumption: minister

Jakarta The Indonesian government is trying to restore confidence among consumers to help them return to stores so that the national economy can move again, Minister of Trade Muhammad Lutfi  has said.

“Currently, consumers are refraining from shopping or applying for credit. The government is trying to boost the level of public consumption to support various sectors so that they can continue (to sustain),” Minister Lutfi said while delivering a keynote speech at the 2021 National Work Meeting of the Indonesian Shopping Center Management Association (Rakernas APPBI), according to an official statement received in Jakarta on Friday.

“The government is also trying to help consumers gain the confidence to shop and apply for credit so that it can drive the economy,” he added.

.Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people have been inclined to cut down on or refrain from visiting shopping centers to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, Lutfi observed.

To that end, the government will continue to strive to drive consumption activities, he said.

Bank Indonesia has estimated that economic growth in 2021 will be in the range of 4.3-5.3 percent, which is lower than its previous forecast of 4.8-5.8 percent.

During the National Working Meeting, Lutfi also invited the APPBI to discuss the problems faced by shopping centers, which are one of the sectors that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I invite the APPBI (members) to come to my office and sit together. Dialogue and cooperation between the government and the business world are needed to get through and overcome this difficult time,” the minister said.

President Joko Widodo had earlier urged regional governments to launch more labor-intensive programs to boost purchasing power and drive consumption.

“We should have in place more labor-intensive programs to strengthen the people’s purchasing power and increase public consumption,” Widodo remarked at the opening of the national meeting of the Association of Indonesian Municipalities (APEKSI) at the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.

State expenditure from the state budget (APBN) and the regional budget (APBD) are currently the only drivers of the people’s economy, he said. (INE)



Source: Antara News



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