Indonesia has rolled out a fiscal stimulus worth trillions of rupiah and widened its state budget deficit beyond the 3 percent legal limit to afford a fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, but the figure seems small compared to what other countries are spending.The government has set aside Rp 436.1 trillion (US$26.36 billion) for the stimulus, equivalent to 2.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which still does not match what other countries have allocated for their fight against the outbreak, said Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati,“Other countries have taken extraordinary measures to prevent the health crisis from turning into a financial crisis,” she told the House of Representatives Commission XI overseeing financial affairs in a teleconferenced meeting on Monday. Australia’s fiscal stimulus, for instance, is 11 percent of its GDP, while Singapore has allocated 10.9 percent of its GDP, she added.The United States, meanwhile, is rolling out a $2 trillion stimulus package, which is worth 10.5 percent of the country’s GDP, and Malaysia has set aside 100 billion ringgit ($23 billion) or 10 percent of its GDP.“This means that [many] countries are taking similar measures,” Sri Mulyani said.Read also: Indonesia announces Rp 405 trillion COVID-19 budget, anticipates 5% deficit in historic move The government has announced plans to spend Rp 405.1 trillion on health care, social safety nets and business recovery programs to counter the effects of COVID-19. It previously announced an Rp 8.5 trillion stimulus package for tourism and vulnerable households, as well as a Rp 22.5 trillion package for manufacturing businesses.The pneumonia-like illness has infected 2,738 people and killed 221 others as of Tuesday afternoon, according to official data.The government has declared a public health emergency and imposed large-scale social restrictions to contain the virus, which has disrupted businesses and put vulnerable families at risk.“Fiscal and monetary policies will be implemented to try to minimize the impacts of COVID-19,” Sri Mulyani said.“This is an ongoing scenario because the situation is rapidly developing, particularly in April and May, which [experts say] will be the peak of the outbreak. Projections may change as the situation develops.”Topics :
“That is why [during CFD] next week, the entire street will be set aside for cyclists, joggers and pedestrians,” he said.Anies himself was seen riding a bicycle on Sunday morning alongside Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria at the Bundaran HI traffic circle in Central Jakarta.While he is yet to give further details on what activities will be permitted for CFD during the transition phase out of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), Anies has declared that street vendors will be prohibited from selling food and goods during the weekly event.”We will not yet allow street vendors to operate during CFD because it has the potential to gather crowds,” he said.Read also: More than public space, Car Free Day serves as arena to voice political dissentUnder normal circumstances, street vendors are allowed to operate in the designated green zones of Jl. Karet Pasar Baru, Jl. Galunggung, Jl. Blora, Jl. Purworejo, Jl. Sumenep, Jl. Pamekasan, Jl. Teluk Betung, Jl. Kebon Kacang and Jl. Sunda during CFD. Anies has decided to extend the PSBB period until the end of June and has said the capital is entering a transition phase in which restrictions will be gradually eased in different sectors after reports that the daily reproduction number (Rt) of COVID-19 had decreased below one.Meanwhile, according to official figures, Jakarta recorded 117 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the capital to 8,978. Jakarta has also recorded 555 fatalities thus far. (trn)Topics : The Jakarta administration is set to resume the weekly Car Free Day (CFD) on Jl. Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin this coming Sunday, but activities will be restricted to bicycle riding and outdoor exercise, with street vendors prohibited from operating.”We will resume the Car Free Day next week for exercise only,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Sunday.The weekly event has been suspended since March 15 as part of the city administration’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. Many Jakartans take advantage of the car-free thoroughfares every Sunday from 6 a.m to 11 a.m to exercise, jog and ride bicycles, or simply to enjoy street food and walking with friends and family.With the capital starting to ease its COVID-19 restrictions, the Jakarta Transportation Agency set up pop-up bike lanes along Jl. Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin on Sunday for the many residents taking up cycling to commute and exercise during the so-called “new normal” period.Read also: Jakartans turn to bicycles to commute in ‘new normal’”We designated one lane specifically for bicycles. However, the cyclists exceeded the capacity of the lane,” Anies said.