Deputy Minister of Finance Suahasil Nazara emphasized that government spending in the state budget and regional budget has become the backbone of Indonesia's economic growth in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
"The state budget and regional budget are the backbones, therefore we ensure that the expenditure is sufficient and useful to handle the economy," he said in an online discussion in Jakarta, on Tuesday.
Suahasil said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused state revenues to fall, the government could not reduce spending to maintain good budget conditions.
According to him, the government should increase spending, especially those aimed at helping people affected by the pandemic even though the deficit has become very high.
He said that Indonesia is actually known as a very disciplined country in managing the state budget deficit, which has always been below 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) since 2013.
He said the pandemic forces the government to increase the deficit to more than 3 percent by 2022 through issuing Law Number 2 of 2020.
"It is not unlimited but limited to 2022 to deal with this COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
He ensured that deficit increase would be reflected in the optimization of spending, one of which was through the PEN program with a total budget of Rp.695.2 trillion for the six focus sectors.
The six sectors include health, social protection, MSME support, business incentives, sectoral support from ministries and institutions and local governments, and corporate financing.
"We carry out the six areas of the national economic recovery program through the state budget and regional budget," he said.
Suahasil also asked APIP (Government Internal Supervisory Apparatus), SPI (Internal Supervisory Unit), APH (Law Enforcement Officials), and other supervisors to contribute to ensuring the proper use and implementation of the budget.
"Ensuring all activities carried out in a short time remain accountable. Our entire society is waiting for the realization of the national economic recovery budget," he said. (Antaranews)