Govt to provide US$1.68 billion stimulus package with hotel, airfare discounts

first_imgTopics : The government is set to provide a Rp 25 trillion (US$1.68 billion) stimulus package that includes airfare and hotel discounts to speed up the recovery of the travel industry after the pandemic subsides.Tourism is one of the hardest-hit sectors by the current health crisis, with no fewer than 1.4 million workers within the sector having been laid off or furloughed.The Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Agency head, Febrio Kacaribu, said on Wednesday that the stimulus package, which aims to boost consumption among the middle class, would be effective by the third quarter when COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be relaxed. “If the public is eager to travel in the third quarter, we will provide a stimulus for tourism, restaurants and transportation,” Febrio told reporters in a teleconferenced briefing. “We are hoping that we will see [a surge in travel] in the third and fourth quarters to boost consumption.”According to his presentation material made available to reporters, the government would provide the support in the form of airfare and hotel discounts, as well as food vouchers via online applications.The plan is regulated under Government Regulation (PP) No. 23/2020 on the national economic recovery program, in which the government will carry out efforts to support a recovery after the pandemic eases.The projected scenario was that large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) would lower consumption significantly in the second quarter, but consumption would recover by the third quarter, Febrio said.center_img The economy grew 2.97 percent in the first three months of the year as consumption growth slowed while people stayed at home, businesses closed and travelers cancelled their travel plans.This has upended the tourism industry as the number foreign visitor arrivals plunged significantly by 64.1 percent year-on-year (yoy) in March to 470,898 visitors, a level unseen in a decade, according to data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS).Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio urged travel agents to use digital platforms to help the industry regain its power after the pandemic, adding that he was coordinating with various stakeholders in tourism to be prepared for a surge in tourists by formulating promotional plans.“The first step is to incentivize Indonesian tourists by coming up with alluring travel packages,” he said. “The pandemic has brought new routines, a new normal.”He also noted new trends in tourism brought about by the outbreak, with health and comfort in particular seeing major changes.“For the next tourism development, we will focus on the principle things, namely hygiene and sanitation at tourist attractions, accommodation and modes of transportation,” Wishnutama said.“We will need strong cooperation to further mitigation and recovery efforts, during the pandemic and afterward.”last_img read more

State banks to disburse $6.32b in loans to help businesses recover from COVID-19 hit

first_imgThe State-Owned Banks Association (Himbara) has expressed optimism that its bank members can disburse up to Rp 90 trillion (US$6.32 billion) in loans to help small businesses to recover from the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.Himbara chairman and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) president director Sunarso said on Wednesday the banks were ready and committed to expand their loan disbursements to three times the amount of funding placed by the government as part of its national economic recovery program.The four Himbara members comprise BRI, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) and Bank Mandiri. “We will prioritize the disbursement to the micro, small and medium enterprises [MSMEs] segment in several sectors like food and distribution, tourism, transportation, housing and construction,” Sunarso said during a livestreamed press briefing in Jakarta.The banks deem these sectors as having potential demand amid the easing of the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) as the government strives to keep the economy running.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati announced last week that the government would place Rp 30 trillion in state-owned banks to be disbursed as loans to businesses to help support economic recovery. The government has also allocated Rp 12 trillion to guarantee working capital loans for small businesses.The fund placement and the working capital loan guarantee are part of the government’s Rp 695.2 trillion budget to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has battered Indonesia’s healthcare system and the social and economy sectors. The government now expects the country’s economy to contract by 0.4 percent this year under the worst-case scenario or grow 1 percent under the baseline scenario as the pandemic ravages the economy.Sunarso also said the banks were open to disbursing the loans to segments other than MSMEs as long as the borrowers’ activity could boost the country’s economic growth and maintain their business sustainability amid the pandemic.Bank Mandiri, for instance, has committed to focusing on disbursing the loans to MSMEs and selected companies in the trade and services sectors, including hotels.“We will help fund those businesses as long as they have expansion potential in this economic situation, especially those in green zones that have relaxed their PSBB measures,” Bank Mandiri president director Royke Tumilaar said during the same briefing.Similarly, BNI president director Herry Sidharta said the bank would disburse the loans to businesses in the COVID-19 green zones to help the economy recover.The bank, he said, would also focus on channeling the funding to the transportation sector, as well as labor-intensive businesses to help bolster economic growth.Although the property sector has yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, BTN president director Pahala N. Mansury said it would remain focused on disbursing loans to the housing sector as he believed that the gradual lifting of restrictions created a positive environment for mortgages.“We saw around a 30 to 40 percent increase in subsidized housing loan demand in June compared with May,” he said.Herry of BNI added that the bank would conduct digital analysis of the loans, as well as creating assistance programs to help MSMEs to expand their markets and find the right vendors for their businesses.“We will adjust the amount of disbursement to the demand to ensure the loan quality,” Sunarso said.Given the tight liquidity risks that banks are facing in the pandemic, he gave an assurance that the banks would seek more third-party funding to cover the remaining Rp 60 trillion of the loan-expansion plans.Third-party funding grew strongly by 8.08 percent year-on-year (yoy) in April compared with loan growth, which slowed to 5.7 percent annually from 7.9 percent in March, Bank Indonesia (BI) data show.Topics :last_img read more

Laborer stabbed to death

first_imgCampo’s co-worker 22-year-old Jay-RTalabon was tagged suspect, a police report showed. The suspect, meanwhile, was arrested andnow detained in the lockup cell of the Ilog police station, facing charges./PN Police identified the fatality as 40-year-oldresident Rogelio Campo. According to police investigation, Campoand Talabon were having a drinking session when the latter stabbed the victimusing a bladed weapon around 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3. It was not immediatelyestablished what was the motive in the incident.center_img Campo was rushed to the Lorenzo ZaycoDistrict Hospital but attending physician declared him “dead on arrival.” BACOLOD City – A laborer was stabbed todeath in Barangay Dancalan, Ilog, Negros Occidental. last_img