JAKARTA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia has prepared a stimulus package worth 120 trillion rupiahs (some 8.1 billion U.S. dollars) to accelerate the economic growth to counter the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak, the country's finance minister said on Friday.
Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati pointed out that the package constitutes 0.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and it will be used to shore up the economic growth which has been slowing down since recently.
"With the widening deficit (in the development budget), our fiscal side provides a stimulus by 0.8 percent of the GDP," she told a press conference.
The minister said that the development budget deficit was estimated at 2.5 percent of the GDP, edging up from the initial plan of 1.8 percent of the GDP.
The stimulus package comprises the exemption of income tax for workers in the manufacturing sector for six months and a 30 percent deduction of corporate taxes for six months as of April, Indrawati noted.
"It is expected the purchasing power of the people or companies will strengthen," she said.
Meanwhile, Chief of Indonesia's Financial Services Authority Wimboh Santoso said the regulation on the restructuring of banking credits for small and medium enterprises will be eased, and accordingly the banks can begin restructuring regardless of the credit size.
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has affected the country's aviation, tourism, export, import and economic activities.
The Southeast Asian biggest economy nudged lower growth, 4.97 percent, in the final quarter of last year from 5.18 percent in the same period in the presiding year, according to data from the country's Central Agency of Statistics.
The government has reported the 4th death of novel coronavirus, and the number of cases has significantly risen to 69. Several patients have recovered from the disease, according to the Health Ministry.