The Jakarta Post
The Industry Ministry will issue a guideline for manufacturers to resume operations during the partial alleviations of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), as the country gears up to restart the economy under a “new normal”.
Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasismita said on Wednesday that the guideline would be in accordance with a set of policies on the prevention of COVID-19 in offices and factories, issued by Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto on May 20.
The policies set out requirements for businesses to be allowed to reopen, including keeping a physical distance between workers, ensuring sufficient handwashing facilities and prohibiting older workers from working late hours.
“Insya Allah [God willing], I will sign the guideline on Friday for employers who wish to operate during the new normal,” he said during an online press conference.
The COVID-19 outbreak has forced shops, factories, offices and schools to shut down, causing widespread layoffs and a decline in manufacturing industry production.
Physical distancing requirements have also affected the operation of manufacturing businesses as many Indonesian factories require workers to carry out tasks in close proximity.
Agus hopes the partial lift of PSBB measures could revive manufacturing companies’ productivity, as factories across the country have seen their utilization rate drop to 20 to 30 percent.
“Even in new normal conditions, factories an only deploy half of its workforce, which will affect their productivity,” he said.
“Factories that already use robotics and 4.0 technology can do well without on-site workers. However, most of our factories still heavily rely on human labor.”
The manufacturing industry accounts for almost 20 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP), the largest among other business sectors.
The Health Ministry’s PSBB policy allows manufacturing factories to operate during social restriction with operational and mobility permits (IOMKI) from the Industry Ministry and “strict health protocols”.
During the press conference, Agus said the ministry had issued 17,000 IOMKI since the Health Ministry’s regulation took effect.