The re-application of Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) in DKI Jakarta starting on Monday (14/9) has resulted in disapproval from many parties because it is considered a negative impact on the national economy, including for small and medium entrepreneurs.
UGM economist Rimawan Pradiptyo, S.E., M.Sc., Ph.D., said that the implementation of the PSBB this time would not obstruct the economy or have a significant impact as when the first PSBB was implemented in April.
"There has been an adjustment after the first PSBB. When there is currently a second PSBB, I feel more optimistic because we have passed the learning process," he said.
He explained that when the first PSBB was implemented, many people and people in business had not fully adjusted to the condition due to the pandemic.
"Everyone was still groping from March to May. They were still trying to recognize what works and what doesn't. But now I think everyone is starting to know what should be done," said Rimawan.
Regarding the concern about MSMEs' fate, he said that MSMEs would survive in crisis times because they are accustomed to doing business dynamically amid uncertain market conditions. Nevertheless, many new businesses have emerged during the pandemic.
Online grocery purchasing services and virtual wedding event organizer services are examples of business opportunities that have arisen and improved in recent months due to a learning process and adaptation to new conditions.
"Virtual wedding services, for example, have eight economic sectors that are inspired, so the wheels of the economy will still be running," he explained.
According to him, the existence of MSMEs, which contribute around 60 percent of the national economy, is a clear advantage to Indonesia, as compared to developed countries that rely more heavily on large industries.
To activate the economy, according to him, the government needs to encourage the MSME sector further. He also considered that there should be a change in the critical performance indicators, which are more directed at achieving outcomes and not the absorption of the budget.
"The absorption of the budget of Seven hundred trillion rupiahs is only twenty percent absorbed. So far, this result is identified as the wrong way of thinking. The government has provided a macro-fiscal stimulus even though the business processes have changed 180 degrees at the micro-level," he explained.
According to him, during a pandemic, the community and government need to be realistic by not having excessive expectations and realizing that the old mindset and policies are no longer relevant to be implemented.
"We have to understand that now all countries are experiencing challenging conditions. Let's set expectations and talk about how we can survive in this current situation instead of high growth rates." Rimawan said.
Governments at the central and regional levels also need to support each other to have clear and consistent policies. This qualification is essential because public trust will be determined by integrity, transparency, and results-focused policies.
"Don't let the central and local governor release different concepts. It is better to take unity so that then the community will follow," he said.
Translator: Natasa A