President Joko Widodo is optimistic the national economic growth will turn positive in the third quarter (Q3) and Indonesia will avoid a recession. This optimism is based on various social assistance programs that have been running since three months ago, such as social assistance, in the form of basic logistical support, cash subsidy, electricity rates subsidy program, and pre-employment cards. Besides, there is also an economic stimulus for business actors in the form of credit restructuring and additional capital. Going forward, the government still has several stimuli for people who have so far not received assistance. “Soon we will issue productive social assistance for MSMEs. This is an emergency working capital assistance of IDR 2.4 million,” said President Jokowi in Bandung, West Java, on August, 11.
There is also assistance for 15.7 million active workers registered with BPJS Ketenagakerjaan. “God willing, a week or two weeks will come out,” he said. All of this assistance, continued Jokowi, was given to maintain people’s purchasing power, especially at the middle and lower levels. “We hope that domestic consumption will increase so that economic growth in the third quarter will be better than the second quarter,” said the head of this republic. On a separate occasion, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, said the third quarter of 2020 was an important and challenging momentum to restore the national economy. Therefore, in the second semester of 2020, optimization of government spending will be the main key. The goal is to put Indonesia’s overall economic growth in 2020 in a positive zone. Meanwhile, INDEF Program Director, Esther Sri Astuti, said that for a country’s economy to recover quickly, it must provide a lot of social protection to its citizens. “So, for the economy to be recovered, there must be a lot of government spending for social protection, not only for social assistance but also for other forms of social safety,” she said. (*)