Indonesia lifts pandemic economic recovery budget again


JAKARTA, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Indonesia's government had increased its budget to control the coronavirus pandemic and help the economy recover to 699.43 trillion rupiah ($49.60 billion), a Finance Ministry presentation showed on Tuesday.

"This is the most important engine in our economy right now," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said during the presentation.

The budget has been increased several times from the initial 372.3 trillion rupiah figure.

It was also announced on Tuesday Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 2.4 basis points at 6.685%​​.

In another announcement, Indonesia has not shifted its stance on Myanmar to back new elections in the South-East Asian country after a military coup removed the elected government, foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told a briefing on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has been rallying support among Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) members for a special meeting on the crisis and sources said Jakarta is proposing a plan to keep the junta to its promise of holding new elections.

Earlier, Marsudi had said that Myanmar's transition to democracy after this month's coup should follow the wishes of its people.

Her remarks came after anger from anti-coup protesters to a Reuters report that Indonesia is pushing a plan for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to send monitors to ensure the junta holds fair elections, as it has promised.

Protesters want the elected government to be restored immediately. Some called on social media for demonstrations at Indonesia's embassy in Myanmar.

"The inclusive democratic transition should be pursued according to the wishes of the Myanmar people. Any way forward is the means to this end," Retno said in a message sent to Reuters by her office.

"Indonesia is very concerned about the situation in Myanmar and supports the Myanmar people. The well-being and security of the Myanmar people is the number one priority," Retno said.

She called for all parties to "deploy maximum restraint to avoid bloodshed". - Reuters
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