PREMIUMGovernment to unify regional taxes, punish recalcitrant administrations

first_imgLOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Google Log in with your social account Facebook Forgot Password ? The government plans to unify regional taxes and impose fiscal punishments on regional administrations whose bylaws are not in line with the national policy in a bid to attract investment.Finance Ministry Fiscal Balance Director General Astera Primanto Bhakti said the plan was part of an omnibus bill on taxation that would overhaul regional taxation as the government seeks to provide certainty to investors.“If a regional administration’s policies are not in line with the national fiscal policy then we will impose sanctions, such as by [cutting] the regional transfer amount or revoking the bylaws,” Astera said during a press briefing in Jakarta on Tuesday.“This will prevent excessive tax collection from businesses by the administrations,” he added.Several regional administrations, he went on to say, unnecessarily taxed companies for water use,… Linkedin Topics : taxation tax-reform omnibus-bill regional-administrations bylaws finance-ministry tax-office state-revenue tax-collectionlast_img read more

Privacy breach, fake news take mental toll on Indonesia’s first COVID-19 cases

first_imgThe message also detailed their symptoms and chronology of events, starting from when they had supposedly contracted the virus to when they were eventually admitted to their current hospital.The Health Ministry has denied responsibility for the leak. Besides the message, photographs of the patients also spread like wildfire. Some were even forwarded with the ironic caption “Please don’t share.” Some people went as far as to question the patient’s profession, correlating it with how she might have contracted the virus. Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said on Monday that Case 1 was a dance teacher and had danced with the Japanese citizen, who he said was a close friend, in a club in Kemang, South Jakarta. Reporters swarmed the patients’ house, taking footage from just a few feet away from the doorstep, prompting the police to set up a police line to drive them away.Read also: Activists, lawmakers criticize disclosure of personal information of COVID-19 patientsThe situation caused Case 1 to write a lengthy WhatsApp message to explain herself, which has also gone viral.In a further statement made on Wednesday, Case 1 shared her account on how she might have contracted the virus and what she did afterward–which differed from the one shared by authorities.Case 1 said she had started coughing and having a fever on Feb. 16 and decided to visit a private hospital along with her mother last Thursday. There, she was diagnosed with bronchopneumonia and her mother with typhus. The following day, her friend in Malaysia called her to let her know that a Japanese woman that had tested positive for the new virus on Feb. 26 had visited a restaurant in Jakarta where she had been hosting on Feb. 15.Case 1 also said that she had attended a dance event at a restaurant in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Feb. 15, not at a club in Kemang on Feb. 14.”For the sake of national security and health, I informed the doctor that I needed to be tested [for the virus], and that’s why I’ve been isolated since Sunday. I don’t even know nor am I acquainted with the Japanese citizen,” she said. “And I want to emphasize, the Japanese citizen is a woman, not a man that ‘rented’ me like the gossip says,” she added. “I was just in a room with the Japanese woman without knowing who she was.” Case 1 said she had given health authorities contacts of her family members and closest friends to be tested and to ensure that the virus would not spread further.“Please respect me and my family’s privacy, stop spreading our photos and fake news about us,” she said. Read also: COVID-19: Jokowi urges people to remain calm and respect patient privacyThe breach of the patients’ personal data also affected their neighbors, who were also questioning how such detailed data of the patients could be disclosed to the public.”Even us as their close neighbors don’t know those details about them. I wondered whether the authorities were responsible,” one of the patients’ neighbors, Anis Hidayah of Migrant Care, told the Post.She said people in the neighborhood regretted that media coverage had also disrupted their activities; some were not allowed to work by their employers, while app-based motorcycle taxi  drivers were adamant about not accepting orders from the housing complex but even more so because it had framed people she knew personally in unfavorable ways.”I hope this accelerates the issuance of a regulation on personal data protection,” Anis said. (ars)Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify Case 1’s statement about how she came into contact with the Japanese patient.Topics : The President’s announcement came as a surprise not only to the public but to the patients themselves, Case 2 told kompas.com on Tuesday.“We had not been [told that we had tested positive],” she said. “We only found out when [Jokowi announced it].”Worse than the surprise announcement was what followed. Soon after the news broke, personal details of the two patients popped up on WhatsApp groups and social media, with unclear origins. The details came in a viral message that started with the words “Spot Reports” and contained not only the patients’ initials and ages but also their complete home address.  Indonesia’s first two confirmed COVID-19 patients say media coverage and discourse on social media have taken a greater toll than the disease itself, saying that the numerous breaches of privacy have left them “mentally drained.”President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Monday that a 31-year-old woman (Case 1) and her 64-year-old mother (Case 2), both residents of Depok, West Java had tested positive for the novel coronavirus after coming into contact with a Japanese woman who later tested positive in Malaysia.Case 1 and Case 2 are currently receiving treatment in an isolation ward at Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital.last_img read more

Berlin to take up to 100 children from Greek refugee camps

first_imgBerlin will take in 80 to 100 children from Greek refugee camps, an official in the German capital said on Tuesday, as concern mounts about migrants amassing on the Turkish-Greek border.European politicians are struggling to agree what to do about the tens of thousands of migrants who have been trying to enter Greece, a member of the European Union, since Ankara said last month it would no longer keep them on Turkish soil.Germany’s coalition parties said on Monday they were ready to take in several hundred children from Greek refugee camps together with other EU countries, with the focus on children who are sick or younger than 14 and unaccompanied. UNICEF concerned More than 3,000 children in Greece need to be found homes, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.While welcoming a move by Finland to take in 150 unaccompanied children, Afshan Khan, UNICEF Director, Special Coordinator, Refugee and Migrant response in Europe, said far more was needed.”We need Europe to stand alongside both Greece and Turkey and the other frontline Mediterranean states to be able to help shelter and house many of the unaccompanied children,” she told Reuters on Monday after a visit to the Turkey-Greece border.France, Portugal, Finland and Luxembourg have also offered to take in some children.Khan described large numbers of women and children near the border who dream of crossing into Europe, but camp in cold and wet open fields in tents or under plastic sheeting.The EU wants to avoid a repeat of 2015 when more than a million people, mostly from the Middle East, reached its shores via Turkey and Greece.Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migrant policy, under which Germany took in nearly 1 million people in 2015 alone, led to a surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).Topics : Asked when children might arrive in Berlin, the capital’s senator for interior affairs, Andreas Geisel told broadcaster RTL: “It now depends on how quickly the German government implements this decision. I think it’s more like today than tomorrow.”Greece has a large number of people waiting in refugee camps and hoping enter the EU, many of them fleeing war, persecution and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.It is refusing to open its borders to the refugees now trying to enter from Turkey, which hosts about 3.6 million refugees from Syria.Greece and the EU accuse Turkey of deliberately goading the migrants to cross the border as a way of pressuring Brussels into offering more money to host the refugees or supporting Ankara’s geopolitical aims in the Syrian conflict.last_img read more

‘He could’ve spread the virus’: Medan Police investigate cop who allegedly spat at driver

first_imgThe Medan Police in North Sumatra are investigating an incident involving a police officer identified only as RS, a video of whom circulating on social media since last Saturday appears to depict him spitting at a car driver.Medan Police chief Sr. Comr. Jhonny Eddizon Isir immediately expressed his regret over the incident after watching the video.“It is such a shame. RS’ act has tarnished our institution amid the police’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. He could’ve spread the virus by spitting at the car driver,” Jhonny said last Saturday.The recording was made during an activity that seemed to be a street operation, after the driver allegedly refused to pay hush money to the cop.Read also: National Police detail tightened measures to combat COVID-19, support government policyThe video was recorded by another driver, who was also stopped by RS. The driver who recorded the video claimed that his driving license was detained and later returned by a colleague of RS, identified as WI, who is not a police officer, after the driver handed over Rp 10,000 (US 65 cents). Jhonny apologized to the public for the dishonorable action conducted by RS. He said he would request a transfer for RS.“We suggest that he no longer work at the Medan Police,” he said.North Sumatra Police spokesperson Tatan Dirsan Atmaja said Sunday if proven guilty, RS would be put on disciplinary trial and given sanctions by the Medan Police’s division of internal affairs.“The North Sumatra Police head, Insp. Gen Martuani Sormin Siregar, would not hesitate to punish police officers whose behavior has unsettled the public,” he added. (aly)Topics :last_img read more

Airlines start to recover with more growth in China, Hong Kong

first_img“China’s domestic capacity stands at 75% of January’s level, the United States at 27% and Russia at 49% of pre COVID-19 levels,” he said. “For anyone interested the UK level is now some 4%!”Some markets are still on a downtrend as travel restrictions are kept in place to contain the coronavirus, which has infected more than 4 million people and killed nearly 290,000. Seat capacity on South Asian airlines dropped 14% this week and is 72% lower than in January, but it could bounce back as India considers restarting flights following a nationwide lockdown, Grant said. Airlines added more seats back to their flight schedules this week, led by China and even increases in Hong Kong, suggesting the industry is starting to recover from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to OAG Aviation Worldwide.Airlines globally added a net 600,000 seats to reach a total of almost 30 million, up about 2% from the previous week, OAG senior analyst John Grant wrote in a report. That’s still a long way off the weekly capacity of about 110 million seats this time last year, but it is an encouraging sign nonetheless.Northeast Asia is a bright spot. China added 1 million seats to schedules this week, including 800,000 on domestic routes, and is now operating twice as many seats as the US. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. added 40,000 seats and increased frequency by some 120 flights, Grant said. Topics :last_img read more

World Bank warns pandemic could push 60 million into extreme poverty

first_imgMalpass said the bank anticipates a five percent contraction in the world economy this year, with severe effects on the poorest countries.”Our estimate is that up to 60 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty, erasing all the progress made in poverty alleviation in the past three years, and our forecasts indicate a deep recession,” Malpass said.Nearly five million people have been infected by the virus around the world, and more than 300,000 have died since it first appeared in China in late 2019.So far, the World Bank has spent $5.5 billion to shore up beleaguered health systems, economies and social services in poor countries. The head of the World Bank warned Tuesday that the coronavirus crisis threatens to push some 60 million people into extreme poverty, wiping out the gains made over the past three years.The global lending institution is already financing aid programs in 100 countries, under its commitment to spend $160 billion over the next 15 months, bank president David Malpass said.”That’s home to 70 percent of the world’s population. This represents a significant milestone,” Malpass told a conference call. Topics :center_img But Malpass stressed that the World Bank’s efforts alone were insufficient, and urged donor nations to step up bilateral aid to poorer countries to ensure a durable recovery.He said restoring the flow of remittance payments and tourism — key sources of income for developing countries — would be “critical steps in the reopening.”A year-long moratorium on debt payments by less developed countries — called for by the G-20 in mid-April — has gained growing acceptance, he noted.According to Malpass, 14 countries have agreed to such a suspension of debt payments, another 23 are expected to request it, and 17 were giving it serious consideration.”That’s a very welcome and very fast response and positive response to the G-20 countries’ commitment,” he said.last_img read more

Garuda to require entry permits from Jakarta-bound passengers

first_imgPassengers can file a SIKM request via the Jakarta administration’s website at https://corona.jakarta.go.id/id/izin-keluar-masuk-jakarta.Garuda president director Irfan Setiaputra told kompas.com that the new policy was in compliance with the Jakarta Gubernatorial Regulation No.47/2020 regarding the city’s entry and exit controls.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan recently issued an order banning people from entering or leaving Jakarta, one of the cities in Indonesia hardest-hit by the virus, without prior approval.“We’re currently discussing compliance with the policy with other authorities,” Irfan said on Tuesday. National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia will require Jakarta-bound passengers to present an exit and entry permit (SIKM) for the city prior to boarding from Tuesday onward, as the country attempts to curb COVID-19 transmission while reopening the economy.All passengers who wish to board flights to Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport must also show medical letters from hospitals stating that they are COVID-19 negative based on a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, according to a circular letter issued by the company on Tuesday.“We are announcing that all customers who wish to board a flight bound for Soekarno-Hatta [International Airport] must comply with the document requirements starting from May 26,” the letter reads. Garuda’s low-cost carrier subsidiary, Citilink, is also preparing to announce the same requirements for its passengers, the company’s president director Juliandra Nurtjahjo said.“If flight [schedules] resume under a ‘new normal’ on June 1 and the SIKM requirement is still in effect, we will comply with the policy,” Juliandra told kompas.com.Passengers who do not provide the two required documents must self-quarantine for 14 days in hotels selected by the government’s COVID-19 Task Force. The task force will not cover the accommodation costs during the quarantine period.The appointed hotels in the Indonesian capital are Novotel Gajahmada, Mercure Jakarta, Mercure Batavia, Pullman Central Park, Gran Mercure Kemayoran, Mercure Harmoni and Holiday Inn Jakarta Kemayoran.During the Idul Fitri celebrations on May 24, Garuda Indonesia operated 14 flights through Soekarno Hatta airport, with a maximum of 50 percent occupancy, as required by the government.“Most of our flights are operated below 50 percent capacity to ensure the safety of our passengers and to adhere with physical distancing rules,” Irfan said on Sunday in a press release.Topics :last_img read more

Preemployment card may not help people return to work despite ‘new normal’: Experts

first_imgRecipients of funds and training under the government’s preemployment card may not be able to practice the skills they learn through the program because the labor market has not recovered, experts say.Tadjudin Nur Effendi, an expert on labor issues from Gajdah Mada University in Yogyakarta, said the ongoing transition toward the so-called new normal, with regional administrations easing coronavirus restrictions, had yet to create new jobs.“I do not think that [people getting back their job] has taken place, because demand in the labor market is still low,” Tadjudin told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview on Tuesday. Luhur Bima, a researcher at SMERU Research Institute, said firms were most likely to employ people they previously furloughed.“Employers will be very cautious in restarting their business activity, so demand for labor amid the transition may not increase significantly,” Bima told the Post.With a budget of Rp 20 trillion (US$1.4 billion), the government introduced the preemployment card in mid-April to help 5.6 million people whose job or small businesses were hit by the pandemic. The government estimates that 3 to 5.2 million people may lose their jobs because of the severe economic impact of the pandemic.People affected by the pandemic are mostly young and educated, in line with the survey’s finding that 88 percent of the respondents were below 35 years of age and 59 percent were senior high school or vocational school graduates.The unemployment rate was highest among people aged 15 to 24 years, which stood at 16.28 percent in February, an increase of around 1 percentage points from a year earlier.Deni Purbasari, the executive director of the preemployment card program, maintained that the program was “not misdirected”, despite criticisms of its relevance to train the workforce at a time when employers are not hiring.“If they are unemployed, young and educated, they are obviously a wasted resource,” Denni said in a virtual briefing on Monday. “We have to make sure that this jobless generation is learning something while the job market plunges.”The survey found that 3,185 of the respondents, an overwhelming majority, hoped they would get new skills from the program, which partners with eight online learning platforms, including e-commerce giant Tokopedia.The most popular training courses in the program are languages, entrepreneurship skills, digital marketing, makeup, coffee brewing and information technology, said Panji of the program’s management team.The government offers Rp 600,000 in monthly aid as an incentive to encourage people to take the training, but those funds will only be disbursed once the recipient completes a course. Recipients are free to choose how to spend the money.In the survey, 4,105 respondents said they would use the aid to make ends meet, clearly in line with the backdrop of losing income.The second-most stated use of the aid was as capital to start a business, followed by funds to find a new job and for savings. Only 611 respondents told the survey they would use it to pay back debt.Panji said Monday that the survey did not evaluate the impact of the preemployment card on job placement rates of the recipients, because “that would require a more rigorous analysis”.“We have to see the preemployment card in the pandemic context with a semi-social assistance mission,” Panji said at the same briefing. “One of the achievements is disbursing the assistance and the feedback from recipients.”As few as 7.7 percent of the respondents considered the training ineffective, some of them arguing that the absence of in-person learning compromised the effectiveness.Despite the transition period, Panji said his office had not decided when to start conducting in-person training. The comments come as around 400,000 people or 60 percent of preemployment card recipients have completed their first training, according to Panji Ruky, the director of communication, partnership and ecosystem development for the preemployment card program.With many nonessential businesses shutting factories, the coronavirus restrictions have forced more than 1.7 million people out of work as of May 1, according to data from the Manpower Ministry. More than half of them were formal-sector workers furloughed by their employers.In line with the ministry’s report, a survey on the program’s eligible recipients by the National Team for Accelerating Poverty Alleviation (TNP2K) found that 80.8 percent of the respondents were unemployed in May.In January, only 37.6 percent of them told the survey they were unemployed, which suggests that they lost their jobs due to the pandemic.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Government gives LPS more power to prevent bank failure

first_imgThe law has been implemented to prevent economic meltdown as it allows the government to widen the state budget deficit beyond the legal limit of 3 percent and Bank Indonesia (BI) to directly buy government bonds to help finance the budget, among other things.The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the stability of the financial system, as it causes supply-demand shock and weakens the financial industry and macroeconomy, according to the Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) in its first quarter report issued in May.The loan disbursement rate among banks grew just 3.04 percent year-on-year (yoy) in May, much slower than 5.73 percent in April, as the coronavirus battered the real sector.The banking industry’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR), meanwhile, stood at 22.16 percent in May, up slightly from 22.13 percent a month before, Financial Services Authority (OJK) data show. It continued to book an 8.87 percent increase in third-party funds in May.OJK data also show that banks have provided 6.35 million debtors with credit restructuring worth Rp 695.3 trillion as of June 22, as part of the authority’s move to provide relief for borrowers affected by the outbreak.Previously, publicly listed Bank Bukopin had to limit customers’ withdrawals due to liquidity issues and shareholder commotion that prevented them from injecting more capital into the bank. The reports triggered panic among customers, as the OJK tried to calm them, and pushed Bukopin’s shareholders to finalize the capital injection plan.Halim said should the struggling banks had failed to improve their liquidity after the fund placement, the bank would be handed over to the OJK before being dissolved.Other than providing a lifeline for problematic banks, the new regulation also enables the LPS to place funds in healthy and liquid banks to manage or increase LPS liquidity.The PP furthermore allows the LPS to seek other methods to raise funds in its effort to prevent banks from failing.The methods include having government bond repurchase (repo) agreements with BI, sales of government bonds to the central bank, allowing the LPS to issue its own debt papers and seeking loans from domestic or foreign parties, so long as they have no conflict of interest with LPS’ duty or incite  a negative perception and reduce the public’s trust in the corporation.These financing methods were previously unheard of in the 2004 LPS Law, as the law had only allowed the corporation to seek financing through government loans if it needed more liquidity.The LPS is still able to seek loans from the government but it should be the last resort if the corporation fails to increase its liquidity through the aforementioned methods.Senior economist Aviliani lauded the regulation, saying that it allowed the corporation to take a more proactive approach in protecting banks that had paid premiums to the LPS and would help prevent bank failure during the COVID-19 pandemic.“Receiving a fund placement from the LPS can at least restore customers’ trust in the banks for a short while and prevent them from rushing to get their money out of the banks,” she told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Friday.Center on Reform of Economics Indonesia economist Piter Abdullah also praised the government’s effort to allow the LPS to seek more funding, as he projected the corporation would need it to anticipate a rise in problems faced by banks amid the pandemic.Topics : The new regulation allows the LPS to place a maximum 2.5 percent of its assets in one bank and a maximum 30 percent of its assets in all banks.The LPS’ total assets reached Rp 120.58 trillion (US$8.35 trillion) at the end of 2019. It also had Rp 114.53 trillion in securities investment, with liabilities reaching Rp 751 billion and total equity of Rp 119.83 trillion.Fund placement in both healthy and struggling banks will be temporary, as the regulation only allows the LPS to place the funds for a maximum one month, with up to five extensions.“This is an extraordinary preventive move as a direct follow-up to Law No. 2/2020 to prevent further disruption in our financial system,”LPS commissioner board head Halim Alamsyah said during a virtual press conference on Friday. The government has issued a regulation that gives the Indonesian Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS) more room to manage its own liquidity and to prevent banks from failing in an effort to help strengthen the country’s financial system stability.Under Government Regulation (PP) No. 33/2020 on the LPS’ authority in imposing measures to deal with financial stability issued on July 7, the corporation can now place funds in banks during the economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, among other things. The placement aims to strengthen the LPS’ liquidity and/or to anticipate or solve financial problems that can result in bank failure.Previously, the LPS was only able to take a reactive approach, as it was tasked with rescuing insolvent banks by liquidating them by taking over shareholder duty, selling or transferring assets and reviewing and canceling unprofitable agreements to help solve their liquidity problems, as stipulated in Law No. 24/2004.last_img read more

Brazil’s Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus again

first_imgTopics : He is due to take a new test “in the coming days.”Since his diagnosis on July 7, Bolsonaro has been confined to the presidential palace alongside other people that have already contracted the virus.It’s a far cry from his regular daily routine that includes leaving the residence to greet his supporters, often while ignoring social distancing measures and without wearing a face mask.As well as taking part in video calls, Bolsonaro has been seen feeding rheas — a bird species native to South America that is related to the ostrich and emu — in the gardens of the official residence. One even pecked him.Brazil is the second worst affected country in the world by the coronavirus after the United States, with more than 74,000 dead and 1.9 million cases. He admitted on Monday by telephone interview with CNN that he “can’t stand this routine of staying at home” and said he was waiting “anxiously” to be given the all-clear to leave the house.He told the television channel he hasn’t had any symptoms such as a fever or respiratory difficulties since July 6.And he added that he continues to take the anti-malarial medication hydroxychloroquine.The drug has been pushed as a treatment for COVID-19 in many countries — but its effectiveness has not been formally proven and the issue is deeply dividing the global scientific community.center_img Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus again, CNN Brazil said on Wednesday, quoting the far right leader, who underwent a new test on Tuesday.Bolsonaro, who at 65 is in a high risk group, said he would remain in quarantine at his official residence in Brasilia from where he would continue to work by video conference.The far-right president, who has caused huge controversy in Brazil for repeatedly flouting lockdown measures in place to curb the spread of the virus, first tested positive a week ago.last_img read more