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Stimulus may not be enough to prevent economic meltdown: Fiscal agency

first_imgThe government’s baseline scenario is for economic growth to reach 2.3 percent this year with 2.9 million people losing their jobs. Under a worst-case scenario, however, the government believes the economy could contract by 0.4 percent while 5 million people lose their jobs.“With this kind of crisis, the government must share the burden,” said Febrio, who was previously macroeconomy and trade research head at the University of Indonesia’s Institute for Economic and Social Research (LPEM-UI) before his BKF appointment early this month.He called on banks and businesses to take aggressive action by rolling out funds to combat the meltdown.The government expects the pandemic to peak in the second quarter of this year, with economic growth contracting. Meanwhile, first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected at 1.1 percent, he added. “This projection may be wrong if the pandemic lasts longer,” Febrio said. “We will try to contain the virus and lessen the impact but the burden must be shared because the government will not be able to do this alone.”The government has set aside Rp 436.1 trillion for the stimulus, equivalent to 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP, for healthcare spending, social safety nets and business recovery programs so far focusing on manufacturing and tourism.The government will set aside Rp 150 trillion from the stimulus package to support small and medium firms affected by the COVID-19. Febrio did not provide further details as the government was currently formulating the stimulus.The government will also grant larger tax breaks to cover 11 business sectors similar to the incentives designed to allow manufacturing companies to weather the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including individual income tax exemptions, import tax deferrals and 30 percent corporate tax discounts.The 11 sectors are food, trade, electricity, oil and gas, mining and coal, forestry, tourism and the creative economy, telecommunications, logistics, transportation and construction, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Friday.“From an economic standpoint, the COVID-19 shock could damage businesses and cause widespread bankruptcies,” Sri Mulyani said. “We are trying to focus our stimulus to lessen the COVID-19 economic shock on citizens.”Meanwhile, chief economist at private lender Bank Central Asia (BCA) David Sumual said the government’s stimulus package was relatively small compared with other countries including neighboring Singapore and Malaysia, with stimulus packages reaching 12 percent and 17 percent of GDP, respectively.“We are hoping that the government can provide greater stimulus packages for small businesses and low-income households,” David told reporters during the same press briefing. “However, the government’s stimulus needs to be welcomed despite limited fiscal power.”Topics : The Finance Ministry’s fiscal policy agency (BKF) has voiced concerns that the government’s Rp 436.1 trillion (US$28.14 billion) stimulus may be insufficient to prevent economic meltdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.BKF head Febrio Nathan Kacaribu said on Monday that the government was considering whether to boost its stimulus spending as the existing stimulus packages may not be enough to counter the severe economic impacts of the pandemic.“We have doubts that the stimulus packages will be enough,” Febrio told reporters during a teleconferenced press briefing. “The government will anticipate this because there are some discouraging signs.”last_img read more

Badgers looking to regain winning ways against Huskies

first_imgAfter dropping a pair of close matches to No. 24 Washington and Portland University last weekend, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team (4-4-0) is looking to regain some confidence as it hosts Northern Illinois University (5-2-1) tonight at the McClimon Soccer Complex at 7 p.m.The Badgers enter tonight’s match following an exhaustive September schedule in which the team has journeyed to tournaments in Milwaukee, Albuquerque and Seattle over the past three weekends. Upon returning from the extensive traveling, head coach Jeff Rohrman is pleased to be back in Madison and playing at McClimon.”It’s been a grueling 10 days or so [of traveling],” Rohrman said. “You know, having gone to New Mexico and out to Seattle — it takes a toll. The travel and obviously the high level of competition we faced made things difficult, so it’s nice to be home here for a little bit of a stretch.”Although the Badgers were victorious the last time the Huskies visited Madison, Northern Illinois has won six of the last seven matches between the two teams, and is currently entertaining a two-game win streak after consecutive 1-0 victories over UW-Green Bay and Saint Louis University. Rohrman need only think back to last year’s match up with the Huskies to know what to expect out of this year’s squad. “Last year [Northern Illinois was] very good and they beat us down there,” Rohrman said. “They’re a much improved team, very talented, very athletic, and they’re a dangerous team that should not be taken lightly. They’ve got some kids that can really do some good things, and we’ll have to come out and play one of our better games to beat them.”Although Wisconsin posts an inferior record, the Badgers have faced a tougher schedule than the Huskies thus far in 2005, losing to such ranked opponents as No. 12 Fairleigh Dickinson, No. 3 New Mexico and No. 24 Washington.In response to last weekend’s losses, Rohrman hopes his team can play faster against the Huskies and employ more options in the attacking third.”I think we need to establish a little more rhythm in our attack,” Rohrman said. “We need to play a little bit quicker because there were times [last weekend] when our movement wasn’t so great and we just weren’t seeing things as quickly as we needed to. Our spacing also needs to be a little bit better against a team like Northern Illinois. We’ve addressed a few of those things and we’ve worked on them a little, so I’m hoping we can come out and get some things going in the attack.”A victory tonight for the Badgers would provide the team with a much-needed spark for the upcoming Big Ten season. And for the seasoned players, a win tonight would provide them with something more: payback.”We definitely need to come out with a good showing,” sophomore midfielder Dirk Pearson said. “I mean, we definitely need a win because it’s an important regional game and they’re a close rival. They also beat us last year, so we’re all looking to get some revenge.”last_img read more