Indonesia govt to defend coronavirus spending in top court

  • Indonesia
  • Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020

JAKARTA (Reuters): The Indonesian government will defend its emergency regulation for a massive spending increase to cushion its economy against the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, an official said on Wednesday (April 29), as the Constitutional Court reviewed its legality.

President Joko Widodo announced the regulation in lieu of a law known by its Indonesian abbreviation "Perppu" in late March, as he declared a public health emergency over the Covid-19 outbreak in the world's fourth most populous country.

The Perppu, which took effect immediately but must be approved by parliament to remain effective, allows Widodo to roll out some US$25 billion (S$35.3 billion)of spending for Covid-19 response, including for welfare programmes and economic stimulus.

It also contains provisions that waive a cap on the maximum budget deficit per fiscal year for three years, cut the corporate tax rate and set out a new financial crisis management protocol.

The Constitutional Court has already begun hearing three requests for judicial review against the Perppu earlier this week, but has asked petitioners to improve their papers and resubmit before May 11, it said in a statement.

The petitioners include Amien Rais, former head of the People's Consultative Assembly - Indonesia's highest parliamentary body, former chairman of Islamic group Muhammadiyah, Din Syamsuddin and senior economic professor at the University of Indonesia Sri Edi Swasono.

They argue that there was no immediate emergency behind the Perppu, while the regulation's content took away too much power from parliament and gave impunity to policymakers, according to the court. - Reuters

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Indonesia , coronavirus , court , spending , Perppu


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