Indonesia’s Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing is reallocating part of its 2020 budget — worth Rp 36.19 trillion (S$3.25 billion) — for the purpose of mitigating the economic impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Minister Basuki Hadimuljono in a virtual press conference on Monday (13 April) explained that the budget would be returned to the Ministry of Finance and then be reallocated for social assistance or bantuan sosial (bansos) and other activities related to the COVID-19 mitigation worth Rp 24,53 trillion (S$2.21 billion).
The minister added that Rp 10 trillion (around S$900 million) will be redisbursed for “cash for work” programs in 34 provinces.
The PKT budget would be allocated for numerous programs, which include an accelerated irrigation system, maintenance programs for roads, bridges, and other regional socioeconomic infrastructure developments.
Other programs include community-based drinking water and sanitation provisions.
However, the minister stressed the PKT implementation would stick to the health protocol focusing on physical distancing to curb the COVID-19 spread.
“Let’s say for minor irrigation project repair, which usually involves around 70-80 people. Now, we will split into 40. However, we make sure they will work and get paid weekly. It can take up to three months (to complete the project),” Hadimuljono said.
The PKT program aims to reduce unemployment by providing low-technology jobs in rural areas. The COVID-19 has forced several sectors such as manufacturing and tourism to cease their operations, leading to the retrenchment of employees.
Director-General of Cipta Karya at the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing Danis H. Sumadilaga said that the PKR program for 2020 will begin this month.
“The program will start in April, in stages. Some will resume in the second and the third weeks in April, and continue to May,” Sumadilaga told Kontan.
As of Monday (13 April), Indonesia had recorded 4,557 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 399 deaths and 380 cases in recovery, official data showed.