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Effective Government Strategy to Control Covid-19 and Restore National Economy

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By: Aulia Hawa )*

The government continues to try to maintain a balance between gas and brake strategies, both in controlling Covid-19 and accelerating the National Economic Recovery (PEN). The public must follow these various policies so that Indonesia can immediately get out of the shackles of the Corona virus pandemic.

The Government’s decision not to implement the Implementation of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) level 3 simultaneously in all regions during the Christmas and New Year (Nataru) period is predicted to increase economic growth even higher. Bhima Yudhistira as the Economist assesses that people can be more confident in shopping at the end of the year. Public spending will of course sustain growth.

The cancellation of the PPKM level 3 plan is a breath of fresh air for business actors. Especially in sectors related to retail, wholesale trade, transportation and tourism support, it is estimated that they will be able to record better turnover than in 2020.

According to Bhima, due to the change in social restriction policy, economic growth in the fourth quarter is estimated to be above 4%. This figure could increase when compared to the original prediction which stated that it was below 3%.

Although there is a positive trend, Bhima reminded business actors not to be careless in implementing health protocols, especially since the world is currently facing the threat of the Omicron variant, so that the implementation of health protocols and the use of the PeduliLindung application must continue.

Bhima said, if you are careless, then the risk of a spike in cases after the Nataru holiday could blunder into economic recovery. If there is an increase in cases, the economy is at risk of weakening again as in the first quarter of 2022.

To continue to encourage the economy, Bhima also hopes that the Government can continue to boost public spending and be able to continue wage subsidies and productive business assistance for MSMEs. At least until the economic recovery runs solidly at the end of 2021. When people’s mobility is still disrupted, what can be done is to optimize shopping activities through digital platforms.

Previously, Deputy Minister of Finance Suahasil Nazara said he was optimistic that the Indonesian economy would grow 4% in 2021. This is in line with the economic recovery period and the slowing of the spread of Covid-19 cases. He hopes that by the end of 2021 the Indonesian economy will grow by around 4%.

Suahasil explained, there are 2 indicators that show recovery, namely in terms of consumption and production. On the consumption side, an increase in the Consumer Confidence Index until October 2021 began to improve as the PPKM was loosened in various regions.

Meanwhile, the Retail Sales Index also continues to strengthen in line with increasing community mobility. And the Mandiri Spending Index, which continues to increase, indicates an increase in consumption.

In addition, according to him, the domestic financial market has also started to become conducive. It can be seen from the yield of Government Securities (SBN), which is already on a downward trend amid rising US Treasury yields, as well as increasing domestic investor participation in the SBN market, with the ownership of SBN being dominated by banks. In addition, the movement of the rupiah and the JCI trend are also in an upward trend. However, negative global sentiment could put pressure on the government securities market, resulting in capital outflows.

Suahasil explained that the conducive domestic financial market and strong Indonesian fundamentals had a positive impact on the performance of SBN auctions in the primary market. Finally, the JCI’s performance was positive and touched the highest level in history.

However, despite being optimistic, Suahasil emphasized to the public and the government to remain cautious. Because Covid-19 cases can spike at any time. So it is important to continue to apply health protocols and follow vaccinations.

Nor should we turn a blind eye that the omicron variant has spread rapidly in at least 40 countries since it was first reported in South Africa. The International Monetary Fund is likely to lower its global economic growth projections due to the emergence of a new variant of Omicron from the Corona Virus.

The existence of the omicron variant of course makes us have to be vigilant, lest the economic development in Indonesia be disrupted just because of people’s indiscipline in implementing health protocols.

The Government’s policy to annul the implementation of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) Level 3 is considered effective for restoring the economy. On the other hand, the Government continues to expand vaccination coverage and closely monitor the development of Covid-19 which was then implemented with the extension of PPKM both in Java-Bali and outside Java-Bali in order to control Covid-19 cases in Indonesia.

)* The author is a contributor to the Press Circle and Cikini Students

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