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Jakarta Post

'No choice but to keep economy running': Ministry allows 11,000 companies operate during PSBB

  • Mardika Parama

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, April 22, 2020   /   02:51 pm
'No choice but to keep economy running': Ministry allows 11,000 companies operate during PSBB Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita. (The Jakarta Post/Jerry Adiguna)

The Industry Ministry has issued 11,172 operational and mobility permits (IOMKI) for companies nationwide that wish to operate during the government’s large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita has said.

The chemical, pharmaceutical and textile industries account for the largest number of permits received, namely for 4,383 companies, followed by the metal, machinery, transportation and electronic industries with 3,518 companies, the ministry’s data show.

“The manufacturing sector is the largest contributor to Indonesia’s economy with a 19 percent share. There is no choice but to keep the economic engine running,” Agus said during an online press briefing on Tuesday.

The Health Ministry's large-scale social distancing (PSBB) regulation requires that all workplaces, except those in essential sectors such as the finance, fuel, food, medicine, retail, water, communications and logistics, be closed and implement work-from-home policies.

Read also: Indonesia to evaluate partial lockdown as companies, factories continue business as usual

However, the regulation also stipulates that manufacturing factories could continue their operation if they receive a license from Industrial Ministry and strictly implement health protocols.

“The company’s management must obey health protocols that are stipulated [under Industry Minister Letter No. 4/2020], which includes temperature checks and the provision of supplements and healthy meals for their workers. Employees must also keep a 1-meter distance between each other at all times,” Agus said.

He said the ministry and local administration would take strong measures against companies that did not adhere to the health protocol, including shutting down operations and revoking IOMKI permits.

“We have sent a letter to the governors, mayors and regents that authorizes local authorities to warn, supervise and even shut the companies down if the factories are found to have breached the health protocols,” he said.

He added that the ministry would not limit the number of companies and types of industries that wished to apply for the IOMKI permit.

Companies could apply for the permit by filling in a form on the National Industrial Information System (SIInas) online portal. Agus claimed that the permit could be issued within an hour of receiving the request.

Read also: ‘It’s too late’: Lawmakers criticize timing of Jokowi’s ‘mudik’ ban

During a limited Cabinet meeting on Monday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the government would evaluate the implementation of PSBB, as many nonessential workplaces were ignoring the policies and requiring their workers to come in for work.

National COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo said that, according to his agency’s observation, the policy was effective to a degree but there were still companies neglecting the distancing rules.

“The policy has not been effective with regards to activities in offices and factories, leading to packed public transportation services,” he said after the meeting with Jokowi.