The current economic crisis, she went on to say, had hit all kinds of businesses, adding that the government aimed to make sure businesses survived by reviving the demand side and restoring the supply side.The government has earmarked Rp 695.2 trillion ($46.6 billion) to finance the country’s COVID-19 fight and boost economic recovery, which is expected to widen the budget deficit to 6.34 percent.The coronavirus outbreak caused the country’s economy to shrink 5.32 percent in the second quarter this year as all components of economic activity fell significantly. The government expects the economy to contract 1.1 percent this year, or to grow 0.2 percent at best.The government recently announced that economic recovery and structural reform would be at the core of the 2021 state budget policy. Indonesia is aiming to capitalize on the coronavirus crisis to conduct structural reforms including in human capital and infrastructure, among other things, as the coronavirus pandemic posed a “short-term challenge” to the country’s economy.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati pledged on Wednesday the government would use all policy instruments to face the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the current economic situation was different than the 1998 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis.“We will use all of our policy instruments to face this short-term challenge without losing sight of what is really important such as human capital, infrastructure, efficiency of bureaucracy and the ease of doing businesses,” Sri Mulyani said during the webinar “Reimagining the future of Indonesia’s economy”, which is part of The Jakarta Post’s webinar series “Jakpost Up Close”. “Structural reform must also be carried out in education, health, social protection and budgeting and the taxation system,” President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said in his annual state budget speech before the People’s Consultative Assembly in Jakarta last week.Jokowi also stated in his inauguration speech last year that he aimed for the country to escape the middle income trap by 2025, becoming an advanced country with an annual income of Rp 320 million per capita, or a monthly income of Rp 27 million per capita.Sri Mulyani stated that the government would continue its plan to conduct structural reforms, including through the omnibus bill on job creation and infrastructure development.The omnibus bill is expected to help the government attract more investment by revising 79 laws and more than 1,200 articles deemed harmful to Indonesia’s ease of doing business, amid concerns over environmental and labor rights, among other things.“We are hoping that the omnibus bill can be passed [by next year],” she said. “Infrastructure development, budget support and ease of doing business can all create confidence for the business community and consumers” once the coronavirus crisis subsides, she added.Red tape prevented Indonesia from climbing up the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking last year, hence why the country has been ranked 73rd since 2018. The President wants the country reach the 40th position this year.Topics :
DES MOINES, Iowa – An annual report that ranks each state for indicators of child well-being says Iowa has fallen behind in some areas.The 2020 KIDS COUNT report says Iowa has slipped from number three in the overall rankings to tenth in the nation. The indicators that make up the rankings include economic stability, education and health.The report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says access to early childhood education and eighth-grade math proficiency are particular trouble spots for the Hawkeye State. Anne Discher, executive director of the Child and Family Policy Center in Des Moines, says the pre-K barriers are especially concerning.“You know, a lot more four-year-olds go to pre-school than three-year-olds,” says Discher. “But the fact is, we’re leaving out lots of kids, our early-education system is missing lots of kids; not accessible to a lot of kids to get that quality, early-childhood experience.”The report says 53% of three- and four-year-olds in Iowa are not enrolled in school. Discher says it’s an area where more state funding would help with access issues.And while Iowa usually fares better than the national average on several key indicators, Discher says the new data was compiled before the COVID-19 crisis, so the gaps might run even deeper. And no matter the timing, she says there are still too many kids in Iowa who are left behind.“Fourteen percent of kids were living in poverty,” says Discher. “That’s pretty substantially better than the national average, but it still translates to 97,000 children. If that were a city, it would be the fourth-largest city in the state.”Past reports from the Casey Foundation have also shown that poverty rates in Iowa are much higher for Black and Latino children.