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Jakarta Post

‘Be ready to book losses’, Erick Thohir tells state firms amid COVID-19

  • Riska Rahman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 24, 2020   /   05:45 pm
‘Be ready to book losses’, Erick Thohir tells state firms amid COVID-19 President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (second left) accompanied by State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir (third left) walk in the emergency room while reviewing the 19th Emergency Handling Hospital for COVID at the athletes village in Kemayoran, Jakarta, on Monday. (Antara/Pool/Hafidz Mubarak A)

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir has instructed state-run firms to be ready to endure losses caused by weak demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those firms in the transportation and travel sectors.

Speaking to the media via teleconference on Tuesday, Erick said that SOEs should not be thinking about their balance sheets at the moment but focus on playing their part in helping to curb the pandemic’s impact on the people and the economy.

He especially mentioned state airport operators PT Angkasa Pura I, PT Angkasa Pura II and train operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI).

“They are all ready to book losses and keep their operations going,” said Erick.

Despite the declining demand for transportation modes such as trains, airplanes and ferries, Erick said that state-owned firms would continue providing maximum service to the public.

Read also: Garuda, ‘severely affected’ by COVID-19, may restructure bonds: Minister

He added that he had also told state-owned banks to maintain operations as they could play a part in helping the government disburse cash assistance to impacted families.

The ministry is also conducting reviews of the operations of transportation SOEs and maintaining talks with the government and local administrations on limiting their services. The government has urged Indonesians to work, study and pray from home and implement social distancing to slow down COVID-19 infections in Indonesia.

The SOEs Ministry may also propose incentives for state-run utility firm PLN and telecommunications firm PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) to provide essential services for Indonesians as they stay at home, Erick said.

As of Tuesday, Indonesia had reported 686 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 55 deaths. Thirty people who contracted the virus have recovered. Globally, the pneumonia-like illness has infected over 383,000 people and claimed at least 16,500 lives.