Finance Ministry underscores three focuses to address COVID-19 impacts

pJakarta (ANTARA) - Director General of Financing and Risk Management of the Finance Ministry Luky Alfriman drew special attention to the three major focus areas of the government's agenda to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The government is present to ensure that the economy is healthy, and the people are still in good health," he noted at an online discussion here on Friday.

The first emphasis of the government's agenda is to maintain the health sector since the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has shown a steady rise to reach up to 162,884 until Thursday (Aug 27), he stated.

The second area of priority is to maintain the purchasing power of the public, especially those from the middle- to low-income group. To this end, the government has launched several stimuli as part of the national economic recovery (PEN) Program, he remarked.

The third focus remains on ensuring that activities of the business world continue to run in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, the government has provided various incentives as part of the PEN Program, he revealed.

"We do not want to see bankruptcy or layoffs," he affirmed.

Alfriman remarked that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an extraordinary impact on the national economy, with economic growth in the second quarter recording a contraction of up to 5.32 percent.

However, the figure is lower than those of the Great Britain and Spain that touched minus 21 percent, while those of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore reached minus 10 percent.

"It (the contraction) was clocked in almost all components. The growth of household consumption, investment, exports, imports, and government consumption contracted in the second quarter," he remarked.

The three focus areas that need the government’s stimuli have raised spending, while state revenues had come under pressure, leading to a fairly large deficit of 6.34 percent of the gross domestic product.

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