By Gayatri Suroyo and Tabita Diela
JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia must use the coronavirus pandemic to reboot Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, President Joko Widodo said on Friday, as he proposed a $187 billion 2021 budget that includes spending more on healthcare, including vaccines, and infrastructure.
Widodo made the remarks in his annual state of the union and budget speeches to parliament. Due to coronavirus precautions, less than half of the lawmakers were present for his address, with the rest watching online.
Likening the current economic situation to “a computer crash”, he said Indonesia, along with other countries, must “shutdown, restart and reboot”.
“We must capitalize on the crisis as a momentum to make a big leap,” he said.
Widodo proposed a 2,747.5 trillion rupiah ($186.65 billion) 2021 budget, up 0.3% from this year.
He said the fiscal deficit should dip to 5.5% of GDP, from 6.34% in 2020, the highest