Vera Citra Utami
September 12, 2020
BANDUNG, itb.ac.id - To welcome New Students for the 2020/2021 Academic Year, Institut Teknologi Bandung invited the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, SE, M.Sc., Ph.D., to deliver a speech to new ITB students virtually, Thursday (10/9/2020).
In her speech, Sri Mulyani explained the national economic recovery strategy that the government is striving to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic is currently rampant in more than 200 countries, including Indonesia. The spread of the COVID-19 virus is very fast and dangerous. The existence of the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed many aspects of our lives and presented a new era of normality in society.
According to Sri Mulyani, COVID-19 is not only about health problems but also poses many challenges in social, economic, and political issues.
“The government responds to the dangers of COVID-19 by taking extraordinary actions. Last April, the President conveyed an alternate government regulation of law which was a form of response to compelling critical situations. Alternate government regulation of Law Num. 1 of 2020 which has been stipulated as Law Num. 2 of 2020 is the foundation and strategy for economic recovery due to COVID-19 which also provides state financial support for handling COVID-19 itself,” said Sri Mulyani.
In dealing with COVID-19, the government has allocated an enormous budget, which is more than IDR 87 trillion. This cost is used to meet basic needs such as personal protective equipment, masks, the capacity of hospital health facilities, benefits for health workers, and the basis for conducting various studies, ranging from ventilators, test kits, and vaccines.
The government's efforts to provide this very large budget require the involvement of all stakeholders. Researchers, health workers, the central government, local governments, and even the army and police are needed to participate in dealing with COVID-19, working together through their respective functions and duties.
“The strategy for national economic recovery is prepared in an extraordinary spirit and under very high uncertainty because we do not know whether we can handle COVID-19 and then find a vaccine. This uncertainty is an important element that makes us continue to develop a strategy for economic recovery,” Sri Mulyani added.
To maintain the demand side, the government protects the community by increasing social assistance to more than IDR 200 trillion. Assistance in the form of family hope programs, necessities, productive social assistance, access to electricity, provision of pre-employment cards, and additional salary subsidies that the government consistently provides.
Apart from providing a lot of social assistance, the government will also continue to work hard to improve the reliability of Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure. The development of ICT infrastructure is very important considering that the consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic requires a digital transformation in various aspects.
Support for MSMEs is also constantly being improved, both in terms of relaxation, interest rates, and also working capital assistance guaranteed by the government. In this case, the central government needs local governments to become the main actors in national economic recovery.
Not only with the local government, in fighting the impact of COVID-19, but the government also needs help and synergy from various parties. The COVID-19 challenge is a matter for all of us. So, cooperation between the government, the private sector, academics, and the community is needed, not only at the national level but also at the global level.
“I hope that ITB as one of the largest institutions in the Republic of Indonesia in the field of science and technology will become a pillar that provides important solutions not only in dealing with the COVID-19 challenge but also for developing strategies and helping to solve how we can get out of the middle-income trap,” said Sri Mulyani.
At the end of her speech, Sri Mulyani also congratulated all students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. “Congratulations on running your future and continue to be part of providing solutions for the Indonesian people and the world,” she concluded.
Reporter & Translator: Evita Sonny