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INDONESIA A semi-lockout would have serious economic consequences



Some prominent figures criticize Greater Jakarta’s new social distancing plan. According to Budi Hartono, owner of PT Djarum, Indonesia’s leading cigarette maker, most people are more worried about losing their jobs than about the pandemic.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Harsh criticism and strong protests from civil society groups led the Greater Jakarta Authority (DKI Jakarta) to impose a new strict Large Scale Social Distancing (PSBB) yesterday, but with many adjustments, after many key business leaders accused the new social restraint plan (PSBB) of severely affecting the Indonesian economy.

According to Bhima Yudhistira, an economist at the Institute for the Development of Economy and Finance (INDEF), the economic recovery is not doing very well. Last Friday, the stock market plunged sharply. The Indonesian rupiah also lost against the dollar.

“If the PSBB is strictly enforced, there will inevitably be a large number of layoffs,” he said, noting three waves of layoffs: The first wave came in March, when COVID-19 first broke out. time; the second came when the PSBB was relaxed; and the third wave will occur when the semi-lock is imposed by the DKI.

The concern of PT Djarum

Robert Budi Hartono (in picture), owner of PT Djarum, the leading Indonesian cigarette manufacturer, is one of the wealthiest people in Indonesia. He openly and harshly criticized the DKI semi-foreclosure.

On Saturday, he released his advice and solution to President Joko Widodo, urging him to avoid the semi-lockdown proposed by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan. Otherwise, he wrote, Indonesia will again suffer economic damage.

However, Hartono, who lost more than $ 4.7 billion on March 17, 2020, has given his opinion on the root cause of the massive spread of COVID-19 in Greater Jakarta and has offered authorities a few proposals.

His younger brother Michael Hartono, also involved in the PT Djarum cigarette group, lost at least $ 3.26 billion.

Low discipline is all that matters

Many Indonesians have pointed to poor self-control, including by Djarum owner Budi Hartono, as the root cause of the massive uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in Jakarta.

For Hartono, “It is up to the authorities in Jakarta to suppress or take into account the lack of discipline. Please do not take a political shortcut (by imposing the new social restraint plan) which will never properly solve the real problem”.

According to him, the central government and the authorities in Jakarta should quickly set up a special zone of total isolation, until the maximum capacity of the hospitals in Jakarta is reached. “Testing, isolation, tracing and treatment should be done on a large scale,” Hartono said.

Economic activities must be maintained as most people fear losing their jobs more than seeing the pandemic. This is why a strict sanitary protocol must be seriously applied.

Nothing bad will happen

It is very clear that such a protocol has never been seriously put into practice either by ordinary people or by public officials.

Nothing serious seems to happen on a daily basis as the deadly virus is not “tangible” despite the daily public reporting of cases and deaths.

Budi Hartono’s main argument has been developed on the basis of several recent polls which indicate that more than 80 percent of respondents to different polls reject semi-foreclosure, as Anies Baswedan noted in an impromptu statement released this week. last.

For this reason, despite the confidence in the launch of a new social restraint plan this week, the new advice from the governor of Jakarta is nothing more than a “publicity stunt” to gain personal popularity.

Shopping centers can still open, but only with a limited number of customers. Restaurants and bars may also open, but only for take out.

The hotels remain open, but guests are asked to stay in their rooms. Taxis and rental cars are also available, but with more emphasis on customer service.

The new social restraint plan will come into effect today until September 27. In southern Tangerang, local authorities refused to follow the Jakarta path.

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