The University of Syiah Kuala (USK) with the Directorate General of Treasury (DJPB) Aceh held a public lecture under the theme of “The State Budget (APBN) Policy and The National Economic Recovery Program (PEN) in Supporting Economy During the Pandemic Era” located in the hall of Business and Economic Faculty. (Banda Aceh, 20 April 2021).
Generally, the public lecture explained about the state budget, the process of its planning and all the way to its validation. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the state budget is deemed very important to recover the impacted economy. This is what the USK Rector, Prof. Dr. Ir. Samsul Rizal, M.Eng delivered the opening statement.
“The state budget’s roles are important for many things. We hope that with the current strategy, the state budget would become the backbone to economic recovery in the pandemic era.”, as said by the Rector.
Therefore, the Rector hoped that all regions in Indonesia do not keep hold of the budget. If the budget is kept on hold, the money circulation would be slow and insignificant. In reality, the budget should circulate well to support the process of economic recovery in this pandemic era.”
“There are some regions that hold their budget (into deposits). That is not a good move. This is about money circulation, economic growth, equity, which could lower the poverty level.”, as explained Prof Samsul.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Directorate General of Treasury Aceh, Syafriadi, S.E, M.Ec., Ph.D explained that the state budget is essential for the National Economic Recovery program. In this program, about Rp 965,2 trillion (4,2% of the Gross Domestic Product (PDB)) has been allocated to health, social security, business support, society’s small and medium business (UMKM), the local government, and impacted sectors.
“The government has committed to boost the process to handle the pandemic and economic recovery.”, as said by Syafriadi.
Therefore, the fiscal policy in the pandemic year was done extraordinarily. With the changes on the 2020 State Budget (President’s Decree 72/2020), the government widened the deficit into 6,34% from the PDB. This was done as an extraordinary step to fund the handling of Covid-19 and economic recovery. Thus, the government would need extra fund sources through burden sharing with the Bank of Indonesia.
“The significant changes on the State Budget is a response to the pandemic and economic recovery. Our global economy is currently challenging. We also do revisions for the economic growth.”, he explained.