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Jakarta Post

Regional administrations reallocate Rp 85 trillion to fight COVID-19

  • Adrian Wail Akhlas

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, April 13, 2020   /   08:05 pm
Regional administrations reallocate Rp 85 trillion to fight COVID-19 Bogor Health Office officials prepare to conduct a COVID-19 rapid test on people under surveillance (ODP) in Bogor, West Java, on March 22. (Antara/Yulius Satria Wijaya)

Regional administrations in Southeast Asia’s largest economy have adjusted their budgets to the tune of Rp 85 trillion to focus expenditure on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Home Ministry announced on Monday.

The ministry’s director general for regional finance, Moch. Ardian, said around 93 percent of regional administrations across the country had altered their budgets, adding that the reallocation would continue as more administrations become engaged in fighting COVID-19.

“The funds will be used to improve the quality of public health and provide financial support for households affected by physical distancing policies,” Ardian said in a statement made available to the press.

Home Ministry Instruction No. 1/2020 issued on April 2 stipulates that regional administrations must adjust their budgets to focus on healthcare services, social safety nets and business support as part of the country’s broader efforts to combat the pandemic.

Regional administrations will boost healthcare spending to Rp 23.35 trillion, led by the West Java administration, which has set aside Rp 2.88 trillion of its budget to fund the healthcare sector.

Meanwhile, regional administrations have also earmarked Rp 23.55 trillion from their budgets for social safety nets, with Jakarta administration leading the pack with Rp 6.57 trillion. The administrations have set aside Rp 7.98 trillion to handle the economic impacts of the virus.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has declared a public health emergency and ordered large-scale social restrictions as the pneumonia-like illness spreads rapidly. As of Monday afternoon, 4,241 people were infected nationwide, with 373 fatalities, according to official data.

The government now expects Indonesia’s economy to grow by 2.3 percent in 2020, according to the baseline scenario, or contract by 0.4 percent in the worst-case scenario, as the virus disrupts business activity.