Indonesia’s state budget deficit widens to US$73.3 bil

Sri Mulyani says the widening deficit is due to the need for funds for Covid-19 mitigation. (Twitter pic/SalaamGateway)

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s state budget deficit in 2020 is expected to widen by 6.34%, equivalent to some US$73.3 billion of the gross domestic product (GDP), reported Xinhua news agency, quoting Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

The government previously set the budget deficit at 5.07% or equivalent to about US$60.2 billion of the GDP, the minister told a video press conference on Wednesday.

Sri Mulyani pointed out that the widening of the deficit was due to the growing need for funds for Covid-19 mitigation in the country.

The former managing director of the World Bank said that she would carry out the 2020 state budget carefully according to the instructions of President Joko Widodo despite a widening deficit.

Previously, the president highlighted the widening of the deficit due to the Covid-19 outbreak handling programme, urging relevant ministers to make more precise economic calculations.

The head of state also asked the coordinating minister for the economy and the minister of the national development planning to make calculations more carefully, in more detail, and to be ready to face various fiscal risks in the future.