Sandiaga Uno

Sandiaga Uno. (Photo: Rayi Gigih/IO)

Willing to slash the budget as long as…

IO – Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno says he is willing to have his ministry’s budget cut by IDR 350 billion, implemented by the Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani, but he put forward conditions in connection with the cut.

“I don’t mind to have it cut, but I want affirmation that priority vaccines are given to the creative economy and tourism personnel who need them. For example, Bali, because (the economy) is minus 12 percent,” he said.

Sandiaga also hopes that Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto will disburse IDR 12 trillion in aid for tourism sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I hope that these packages can be

delivered immediately. I appeal to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy to consider it,” he said during the Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environment Program Talks and the Virtual Wear Mask Movement, Tuesday, February 2.

IDR 9 trillion in assistance will be provided for corporate-level tourism players and IDR 3 trillion to IDR 3.5 trillion for micro-level tourism entrepreneurs. Those who are targeted for assistance are hotel and restaurant owners, travel agents, tour guides, and informal workers.

“Together with the local government of Bali, we are pushing for a jumbo package of IDR 9.9 trillion aimed at stimulating tourism and the creative economy. Because cash

is king, we now need funds to pay employees. This is a soft loan package for the corporate sector that drives tourism and the creative economy; it can endure 1-2 years. We encourage this package but want to add more,” he said as quoted by IDN Times.

He hopes that this assistance can be included in the national economic recovery fund. He is worried that if a stimulus is not given, tourism entrepreneurs will be permanently injured.

“Because all this time they eat from savings. Now they eat the proceeds from selling assets. So assets are sold: this is starting to happen. They will not be able to start a business again especially if they are productive assets.” (rp)