In teleconferenced meeting, Jokowi orders govt to divert $2.66 billion to COVID-19 relief

In teleconferenced meeting, Jokowi orders govt to divert $2.66 billion to COVID-19 relief

first_imgHe added that at least Rp 40 trillion (US$2.66 billion) initially prepared for business trips and officials’ meetings, could be disbursed to the people to maintain their purchasing power.   Jokowi also pinned his hopes on his flagship village fund program to maintain purchasing power. At least Rp 72 trillion of the funds could be used to prioritize labor-intensive public works projects or other productive programs, he said.In addition to that, relevant institutions had also been asked to immediately start the disbursement of government social assistance to low-income households through the Family Hope Program.The Social Affairs Ministry had allocated around Rp 31.3 trillion for the program this year, Antara reported. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on governments worldwide to join forces and roll out aggressive financial support for the coronavirus-infected global economy, including direct payments to workers and businesses.Given the “acute shocks” hitting economies, consumers and businesses, IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said, “policymakers will need to implement substantial targeted fiscal, monetary and financial market measures to help affected households and businesses”.The measures could include “cash transfers, wage subsidies and tax relief” as well as interest rate cuts and financial market support by central banks, she added.The IMF has warned that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak would slow growth in the world economy to below the 2.9 percent posted last year.As of Monday, Indonesia had reported 134 confirmed cases of COVID-19, five of which ended in death. (vny/nal)Topics : “Budgets related to business trips and gatherings, [which should be suspended during the coronavirus threat], can be used to help the people [particularly low-income ones such as] laborers, farmers, fishermen, as well as micro and small enterprises,” the President said.center_img President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed all ministries to limit their budget spending, so the money can be allocated to maintain people’s purchasing power during the COVID-19 pandemic. The instruction was conveyed during a teleconferenced Cabinet meeting on Monday, part of the administration’s efforts to encourage social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19.last_img read more

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South Korean conglomerate donates $255,000 worth of medical equipment to Indonesia

first_imgTopics : The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) will distribute the donations gradually over the next 20 days. Meanwhile, the rapid test kits are expected to arrive later this month from South Korea.”This is a real symbol of the close ties between Indonesia and South Korea,” BKPM head Bahlil Lahadalia said in a statement on Monday. “The BKPM will help with the distribution so that medical staff and app-based ojek drivers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak can benefit accordingly.”CJ Indonesia, which has operated in the country since 1988, joins other companies in donating medical equipment amid the unfolding pandemic. The BKPM previously received 50,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing kits from another South Korean conglomerate, LG Group.Hospitals across the country are in need of medical supplies and test kits as the number of infected patients continues to rise amid calls for more aggressive testing. Official figures showed that more than 4,500 people have contracted COVID-19 in Indonesia, with the death toll reaching nearly 400. “As we forge relations with the BKPM and Indonesia during our 32-year operations, we have a sense of belonging and togetherness,” said CJ Indonesia business development director Wahju Onasis. “We want to help ease the burden caused by this outbreak.Two-Wheeled Movement Union (Garda) leader Igun Wicaksono added: “The donations we received today [Tuesday] from CJ Indonesia and the BKPM will be of great help to us — the app-based motorbike taxi drivers who have suffered as a direct impact — to support our daily operations.”Read also: TikTok donates Rp 100 billion for COVID-19 medical workersApp-based ojek taxi drivers are among the vulnerable groups that have been hit the hardest by the government’s social restriction policy to contain the spread of the virus.According to Online Driver Association (ADO) head Wiwit Sudarsono, drivers’ earnings have plunged nearly 80 percent, especially for those who usually transport passengers.A report by big data firm Statqo Analytics showed that Grab and Gojek had seen a 16 and 14 percent downturn, respectively, among their active ride-hailing users within the last week of March. A significant drop was seen on March 19, three days after schools and many businesses closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. CJ Indonesia, the local arm of South Korean conglomerate CJ Corporation, donated on Monday rapid test kits and hand sanitizer worth Rp 4 billion (US$255,000) to healthcare facilities and app-based motorcycle taxi drivers, as demand for these crucial items remains high in the fight against COVID-19.The company, which manages bakery franchise Tous Les Jours, among other businesses, has prepared 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, 200,000 pieces of bread and 200,000 milk packages to be distributed to state-owned hospitals and community health centers (Puskesmas) handling COVID-19 patients, as well as ojek drivers impacted by the government’s large scale social restrictions.Read also: COVID-19 news is not all bad. Read this to stay positive Editor’s note: This article has been revised to reflect that the donation worth US$255,000.last_img read more

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From official residences to low-cost apartments, Jakarta transforms into isolation city

first_imgLast month, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan instructed his city officials to submit a list of buildings readily available to be converted into isolation facilities.According to the Jakarta Governance Bureau, Jakarta’s five municipalities and its one regency have proposed a total of 253 sites that can be converted into communal isolation shelters.Officials have scoured the city for potential isolation houses to anticipate a lack of facilities, as the number of cases still climbs in the capital despite weak government claims of a leveling off in the rate of COVID-19 infections.The buildings range from official residences to sports fields and training centers, as well as schools and child-friendly public spaces (RPTRA). The heads of the Pela Mampang and Bangka subdistrict administrations, local authorities in leafy South Jakarta, have been forced to move back into their private homes.Their official residences, although newly renovated, cannot be used because medical workers have taken up occupancy there, said Mampang Prapatan district head Jaharudin.The houses, handily transformed into makeshift quarantine facilities, are just two of the many buildings being prepared by the Jakarta administration to temporarily house people who cannot self-isolate or are suspected of transmitting COVID-19. The move also follows a decision in March to convert Wisma Atlet Kemayoran, the former athletes village in Central Jakarta, into a makeshift hospital with a capacity to take in 3,000 patients who are asymptomatic or show only mild COVID-19 symptoms. As of Monday, Wisma Atlet had hosted over 850 patients.Jakarta has 714 intensive care units and 657 isolation wards spread across 190 hospitals. Of this figure, only 172 hospitals are allowed to take in suspected patients while only 100 hospitals qualify to care for confirmed cases.As of Tuesday, Jakarta had 4,687 cases with 409 deaths.The capital has recorded a cumulative total of 3,095 people who tested positive for COVID-19 and patients treated in hospital.The rest of the confirmed cases have gone into self-quarantine, while another 228 people are under surveillance, although their whereabouts and whether or not they have self-isolated are unknown.The Jakarta Health Agency will be examining the proposed sites to ensure they meet health standards for quarantine before use, while the administration continues to prioritize sending patients to referral hospitals and the Wisma Atlet facility.It remains unclear how many buildings have been given the green light, but the agency’s public health department head Fify Mulyani said that task forces had been set up to prepare sites in all areas except West Jakarta and the Thousand Islands regency.“[Preparations] are under way,” Fify told The Jakarta Post on Monday.Based on the agency-approved guidelines, a communal isolation house should either be a permanent or semi-permanent building equipped with bathroom and kitchen facilities, as well as adequate air circulation and access to electricity and clean water.Authorities must also have systems in place to keep the facility secure.Mampang Prapatan’s Jaharudin said medical workers were allowed to take up residency at the two official residences in Pela Mampang and Bangka because no local residents were flagged for isolation.Jaharudin had also put in a request to convert a local 360-room training facility under the government’s management.“It is important to have the building’s owner and the community from the surrounding area agree with the proposal,” he said.“It’s all about the stigma; some people think that the disease is transmitted through the air, but someone under quarantine is prohibited from going outside, right?”Densely populated Jakarta continues to be the national epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, helped along by minimal knowledge of the disease and a significant number of workers who cannot afford to shelter in place.Mayors in Jakarta have acknowledged the issue, saying public support is of utmost importance.In North Jakarta, the local government plans to convert a number of buildings, including two empty towers in the Nagrak low-cost rental apartment (Rusunawa) complex in Cilincing.Local officials have given an assurance that the intended isolation houses located 500 meters away from other occupied towers are far enough.“Even if there are empty units in other low-cost apartments, we wouldn’t recommend them to be used [as isolation rooms] so as to keep other tenants safe,” said Parjoko, the acting chief of the Jakarta Housing and Settlement Agency.Meanwhile, the city’s education agency has proposed the use of 136 school buildings, which has sparked criticism among Jakarta councillors.Council Speaker Prasetyo Edi Marsudi from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) demanded that the administration pull the plug on that plan, fearing further viral transmission as many schools are located in residential areas.Only one school in Tidung Island in Thousand Islands has reportedly been used to house five people under surveillance.The city’s governance bureau head Premi Lasari acknowledged that there were objections at the neighborhood level.“There was some opposition, but we managed to disseminate information [about the plan] in a persuasive manner with the help of the authorities, local figures and community health center officers,” Premi said.The chairman of the Jakarta RT/RW Forum, Muhammad Irsyad, also played down objections at the community level, arguing that they mostly came down to a lack of knowledge about the disease.“There’s no need to worry because isolation shelters have their own health standards,” Irsyad insisted.“When there are no more [sheltering patients, authorities] will sterilize the property before returning it into its original state.”Topics :last_img read more

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COVID-19: Nearly 90,000 Indonesians return home after more than 700 infected abroad

first_imgRetno said 567 other crew members would arrive on three more ships, without mentioning the exact date of arrival.There are still other Indonesian citizens who are unable to come home, such as those stranded in India. Most of them are the members of Tablighi Jamaat.“The government is still finding a way to bring them home by coordinating with other countries whose citizens are experiencing similar obstacles, such as Bangladesh, Malaysia and others,” Retno added.India is one of many countries that have imposed strict lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19, which has infected more than four million people globally and has caused more than 238,000 deaths.According to the Foreign Ministry, 734 Indonesians abroad had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday in at least 33 foreign territories and aboard 20 international cruise liners. About 300 are being treated, while more than 370 have recovered, and 41 have died.“All Indonesian diplomatic missions abroad are consistently coordinating with the respective countries to ensure [citizens abroad] receive good treatment,” Retno said.Read also: Nearly 100 foreigners currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in Indonesia: Foreign MinisterThe government – with support from Indonesian civil society groups and local communities – is helping citizens abroad in need of assistance because of the pandemic.As of Monday, more than 375,000 aid packages had been distributed to affected citizens abroad.“We give our highest appreciation to the Indonesian communities abroad who have been tirelessly helping those in need,” said Retno.The government has guaranteed that the returning citizens will follow the standardized health protocols to ensure they are not carrying the virus.Retno concluded the briefing by urging regional administrations to be actively involved in handling the returning citizens, as collaboration between central and local government was vital to ensure citizens’ protection.Topics : Read also: COVID-19: Indonesians stranded abroad return home amid ‘mudik’ banOther citizens arrived from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria and Egypt, among others.“There will be more from Egypt and Oman in the near future,” Retno said in a press briefing from the COVID-19 task force headquarters in Jakarta on Monday. She added that dozens of citizens from Bangladesh were expected to arrive on Monday.According to the ministry, more than 14,200 Indonesian crew members have arrived in the country through four points of entry: Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta and Benoa Port in Bali. While many countries are imposing strict lockdown policies, Indonesia has recorded an influx of citizens returning from abroad – nearly 90,000 as of Monday.Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said 89,595 citizens had been repatriated as of Monday.Of the total, 72,966 citizens arrived from Malaysia. Most of the returnees were those who had been impacted by Malaysia’s movement control order (MCO), which is in place until June 9.last_img read more

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Deforestation decreases globally but remains alarming: Report

first_imgFrom 2010 to 2015, the world lost 12 million ha of forest per year to deforestation, while between 2015 and 2020 the annual rate of deforestation was at 10 million ha per year.Between 2000 to 2010, this figure stood at 15 million ha, and between 1990 and 2000, some 16 million ha of forest was lost to deforestation every year.Though up to 93 percent of the world’s forests can naturally regenerate, they were not able to keep up with the rate of deforestation, with annual agricultural expansion rising from 8 million ha between 1990 and 2000 to 10 million ha (2000-2010), 7 million ha (2010-2015) and 5 million ha (2015-2020) per year. “This is clearly not a sustainable track we are on. Forests regulate global weather and provide livelihoods to millions of people – we just cannot afford to continue down this road,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen said at the recent virtual launch of the report.Agricultural expansion was found to be the main driver of deforestation, especially in tropical and subtropical regions, as large-scale commercial agriculture linked to cattle ranching and soybean and palm oil plantations accounted for 40 percent of tropical deforestation between 2000 and 2010, followed by local subsistence agriculture (33 percent), urban expansion (10 percent), infrastructure (10 percent) and mining (7 percent).Even though it is declining, FAO director general Qu Dongyu said the rate of deforestation was still alarming.”Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity”, Qu said during the launch on May 22.Although forests only cover 31 percent of global land area – equivalent to 4.06 billion ha – they are home to most of the earth’s land biodiversity.They provide habitats for 80 percent of amphibian species, 75 percent of birds and 68 percent of mammals. Around 60 percent of vascular plants are also found in tropical forests.Some 45 percent of forests are tropical, followed by boreal forests (27 percent), temperate forests (16 percent) and subtropical forests (11 percent).More than half of the world’s forests are found in Brazil, Canada, China, Russia and the United States.Indonesia, in the meantime, accounts for around 2 percent of total global forest cover, roughly equivalent to 92 million hectares.The Indonesian government has also claimed that the rate of deforestation has slowed, although official data shows a more complex reality.According to the Environment and Forestry Ministry, Indonesia lost 493,300 ha of forest in 2017 to 2018, but followed it up with 53,900 ha of replanted forests, trimming the net loss to 439,400 ha.In the 2018 to 2019 period, Indonesia lost 465,500 ha of forest cover and replanted just 3,100 ha, bringing the net forest cover loss to 462,400 ha.“Global deforestation has decreased by almost 40 percent, and Indonesia has made an important contribution to that decrease. Indonesia’s annual rate of deforestation reached more than 3.5 million ha between 1996 and 2000, but now that has been reduced by 0.44 million ha and will continue to decline in the future,” Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said during the SOFO virtual launch event.Siti said the reduction in the rate of deforestation was the result of several measures implemented by the government, including peatland restoration activities, a moratorium on new palm oil plantations and reviews of existing plantations and the timber legality verification system (SVLK) for timber exports.The government is also set to receive a US$56 million grant from Norway in June this year, as the first payment for Indonesia’s successful reduction in deforestation and carbon emissions under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) cooperation scheme.Editor’s note: Article revised to correct survey findings.Topics : Shrinking forest cover over the last 30 years presents a clear and present danger to biodiversity, a recent review of the state of the world’s forests has found, even though the rate of deforestation has slowed in the past five years.The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO) 2020, published jointly by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Program (UNEP), also called for global cooperation to turn the tide of deforestation.According to the report, it is estimated that around 420 million hectares of forest have been lost since 1990 through land-use conversion, although the rate has decreased recently.last_img read more

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Trump angers American religious leaders with Bible photo op

first_imgAmerican religious leaders on Tuesday castigated Donald Trump for posing in front of a church holding a Bible after peaceful protesters were violently cleared from the surrounding area.”It was traumatic and deeply offensive, in the sense that something sacred was being misused for a political gesture,” Washington’s Episcopal Bishop Mariann Budde said on public radio station NPR. The Republican billionaire, whose supporters include many evangelical Christians, used “the symbolic power of our sacred text, holding it in his hand as if it was a vindication of his positions and his authority,” she said. The historic St John’s Episcopal church is across the street from Lafayette Park, which faces the White House and has been the epicenter of the protests in Washington since Friday.The church was defaced with graffiti and damaged in a fire during a demonstration on Sunday night. On Monday protesters were demonstrating there peacefully when law enforcement including military police used tear gas to disperse them — clearing a path for the president to walk from the White House to the church for the photographs.The protest was televised, and the backlash as the images spread was swift and furious. “The protest at that point was entirely peaceful,” Budde said. “There was absolutely no justification for this.”Trump on Monday adopted a martial tone in a nationwide address he delivered just before the church visit, in which he threatened a military crackdown after the biggest civil unrest in decades.Hundreds of thousands of people have been demonstrating their anger since the May 25 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man killed by police in Minneapolis. The gatherings have been largely peaceful, but some have degenerated in to riots. Other Episcopalian leaders denounced Trump’s visit to the church as “disgraceful and morally repugnant.””Simply by holding aloft an unopened Bible he presumed to claim Christian endorsement and imply that of The Episcopal Church,” bishops from New England said in a statement.On Tuesday the president and his wife followed up with a visit to the St John Paul II National Shrine in the capital’s northeast, immediately infuriating the country’s Catholic leadership as well.”I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles,” Washington’s Archbishop Wilton Gregory said in a statement.The pontiff, who died in 2005, “certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace,” he added. center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Indonesia urges other nations to reject Israel’s West Bank plan

first_img“It threatens stability in the region and potentially puts back a conflict resolution that is based on the two-state solution,” he said in a press briefing on Wednesday.Read also: Indonesia ‘very concerned’, condemns Israel’s West Bank planIsrael’s plan to annex a large part of the West Bank emerged after United States President Donald Trump came up with the so-called “deal of the century” in January, which sees Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital and recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank.Earlier reports said that under the US plan, Israel would annex 30 to 40 percent of the West Bank. Israel plans to implement the plan on July 1.The plan has been rejected by many countries, including Indonesia. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also urged all of its member states not to cooperate with Washington in implementing the idea in any form.Topics : Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has sent letters to at least 30 of her counterparts around the world urging them to reject the Israeli government’s plan to annex a large part of the West Bank, the Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday.“Some of the foreign ministers and officials have responded positively and they acknowledge Indonesia’s leadership on this issue. They have also promised to continue working together to push this issue forward,” Achmad Rizal Purnama, the ministry’s director for Middle East affairs, said on Wednesday.Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah added that Indonesia remained absolutely clear that “the plan is illegal and contradicts international law and several resolutions issued by the UN”.last_img read more

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Human error caused Pakistan plane crash that killed 97: Initial report

first_imgHe said the pilots had been discussing the coronavirus pandemic as they attempted to land the Airbus A320.”The pilot and co-pilot were not focused and throughout the conversation was about coronavirus,” Khan said. The Pakistani investigation team, which included officials from the French government and the aviation industry, analyzed data and voice recorders.The minister said the plane was “100 percent fit for flying, there was no technical fault”. Topics : A plane crash which killed 97 people in Pakistan last month was because of human error by the pilot and air traffic control, according to an initial report into the disaster released Wednesday.The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane came down among houses on May 22 after both engines failed as it approached Karachi airport, killing all but two people on board.”The pilot as well as the controller didn’t follow the standard rules,” the country’s aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said, announcing the findings in parliament.center_img The county’s deadliest aviation accident in eight years came days after domestic commercial flights resumed following a two-month coronavirus lockdown.Many passengers were on their way to spend the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr with loved ones.last_img read more

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Novel’s lawyers slam police for giving legal aid to alleged attackers

first_imgRead also: KPK urged to take on Novel’s acid attack case after prosecutors demand light sentenceHowever, Novel’s advocacy team argued that the National Police should also heed Government Regulation No. 3/2003, which stipulates that officers can only receive legal assistance if their cases are related to their work.The team said that the police chief regulation was only a technical guideline in relation to the government regulation.Ronny and Rahmat allegedly attacked Novel in 2017 with sulfuric acid, causing severe damage to the latter’s left eye. In the indictment, prosecutors said the defendants perpetrated the attack because they held a grudge over the victim’s work as an investigator for the KPK, seeing it as a form of opposition to the National Police.According to Novel’s team, the crimes allegedly committed by Rahmat and Ronny could not be regarded as related to their duties as the defendants testified before the court that the attack was a result of personal motives.”If the National Police insist on providing legal assistance, we can conclude that the police as an institution was involved in the crime that the defendants have [allegedly] committed,” the statement wrote.Human rights activists and experts have also previously criticized the designation of police officers as the defendants’ lawyers, with criminal law expert Abdul Fickar Hadjar from Jakarta’s Trisakti University saying that public advocates should be the lawyers in criminal cases.When contacted by The Jakarta Post, National Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono stopped short at commenting about the demand. “Let the trial proceedings decide. We will leave it up to the court,” he said on Tuesday.Prosecutors at the North Jakarta District Court have demanded a one-year prison sentence for the two defendants.The relatively light sentence demand has led to questions being asked about the prosecutors’ argument that the defendants had “accidentally” thrown the acid into Novel’s face.Activists and members of the public have also raised suspicions that the two policemen are merely scapegoats, with the mastermind behind the attack still at large.Topics : The two-star police general previously served as the Jakarta Police’s general crime division head during the investigation into the assault.”We demand the National Police stop the legal assistance it provides to Ronny and Rahmat,” Novel’s advocacy team said, “[The assistance] is not legally valid and it poses a potential for a conflict of interest that could lead to a mistrial.””We also urge the Indonesian Ombudsman to investigate the National Police for alleged maladministration,” the team added.National Police Chief Regulation No. 2/2017 stipulates that police officers and their family members are eligible for legal consultation, advice, advocacy and assistance from the police institution in regard to legal problems. Novel Baswedan’s advocacy team has slammed the National Police for giving legal assistance to two police officers currently standing trial for allegedly attacking the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator, urging the Indonesian Ombudsman to investigate the corps for alleged maladministration.The police-led legal team for the defendants, headed by National Police law division head Insp. Gen. Rudy Heriyanto Adi Nugroho, could be viewed as a potential conflict of interest, the advocacy team said in a statement published on Monday.The team claimed that based on information they had received, Rudy had given the defendants — members of the police’s Mobile Brigade Unit, Chief Brig. Ronny Bugis and Brig. Rahmat Kadir Mahulette — legal assistance since the start of the investigation into the acid attack in April 2017 until after the case had been brought to court.last_img read more

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Japanese companies hold firm on investment plans in Indonesia despite drop in sales, production

first_imgHowever, despite plunging sales and production rates, 69 percent of respondents remained confident about their future investment strategies in Indonesia. Only 15 percent intended to slash their future investments amid the current economic woes.“Many Japanese companies still see Indonesia as a potential market. While it’s true that demand is decreasing in the short term, consumption will return in the long run,” JETRO senior director Wataru Ueno told reporters during an online briefing on Tuesday.The coronavirus outbreak, which was first detected in China, has put a strain on Indonesia’s foreign direct investment, partially due to the social restrictions implemented to contain the spread of the virus. Indonesia booked a 9.2 percent year-on-year (yoy) decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) to Rp 98 trillion (US$6.8 billion) in the first quarter of 2020.Japan was the fourth largest contributor of foreign investment to Indonesia in the first quarter of the year, investing $604.2 million. Last year, it invested a total of $4.3 billion, making it the third-largest foreign investor overall, trailing China and Singapore, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) data show. Of all sectors, the transportation and machinery industries have felt the biggest impact, with 82 percent of companies in the sectors seeing a drop of more than 50 percent in sales compared to before the pandemic. In total, 97 percent of manufacturers in the sector have reduced their production rates, in compliance with the social restrictions imposed in several regions.Indonesia’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a gauge of the nation’s manufacturing activities, hit 39.1 points in June, rebounding from 28.6 the previous month, but still far below the 50-point benchmark that indicates growth, according to market consultancy firm IHS Markit.To survive the current crisis, Japanese companies are utilizing the government’s tax incentive programs, such as the individual income tax exemption, as well as corporate income tax and import income tax incentives.Previously, the Taxation Directorate General announced it had agreed to grant tax incentives to 360,818 individual and corporate tax payers.Ueno said the majority of Japanese companies expected further tax relaxation measures to be taken if pressures on domestic consumption continued, as well as government-backed compensation to be provided for their employees.“We understand the government is currently in a tough situation. However, support from the Indonesian government is extremely important for Japanese companies,” he said.The government has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion in COVID-19 relief spending to boost the economy and strengthen the healthcare system. This includes Rp 120.61 trillion to provide tax refunds for individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic.As companies are betting on long-term growth, Ueno said swift government action was needed to ensure consumption rebounded in 2020.“If demand fails to recover this year, it’s going to be a tough situation for all companies including Japanese companies in Indonesia,” he said.Previously, Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, stated that Indonesia was still among the preferred Southeast Asian markets for investment, backed by strong household spending and a young working population.In a report titled CIO Insights 3Q20 released on June 29, DBS noted that the country would quickly return to normalcy after the relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions, while household spending – which accounts for more than half of gross domestic product (GDP) – would continue to drive the recovery.“The investment strength in Indonesia lies in its favorable demographics. Indonesia is the third-most populous country in Asia, the fourth globally, and has a high proportion of young working adults,” the report reads.Topics : Japanese companies operating in Indonesia will stick to their future investment plans, despite declines in sales and production due to the ongoing health crisis, a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has shown.The JETRO survey, which illustrates the impact the pandemic has had on more than 350 Japan-based companies operating in Indonesia, shows that due to the pandemic, 80 percent of the companies have seen a decrease in sales, with 37 percent stating their sales had fallen to half their normal levels in this year’s second quarter.Facing such significant declines, 80 percent of the companies surveyed have reduced their production in Indonesia.last_img read more

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