Indonesia to relax restrictions to speed up imports, exports amid virus threat

first_imgThe stimulus will also reduce and simplify restrictions for producers who import steel, alloy steel and its derivatives as well as several food commodities to ensure the availability of raw materials. The government will simplify regulations of animals, medicine and food imports as well.Moreover, authorities will incentivize “reputable traders” that have a “high level of compliance” by automatically responding to and approving applications for restricted exports and imports as well as removing surveyor report requirements for mandatory commodities. So far, the government has classified 735 companies as “reputable traders”.The government will also beef up its supervision through the National Logistics Ecosystem (NLE), a platform that integrates information systems between the government and the private sector. Such a move will help synchronize the flow of information and export-import documents at ports and other domestic goods trading.Particularly, the NLE plans to integrate information from the government’s export-import licensing website Indonesia National Single Window (INSW) with Indonesia’s port system (Inaport), the Trade Ministry’s online trade system (Inatrade), Customs-Excise Information System and Automation (CEISA), trucking systems, warehouse systems, transportation systems and terminal operator systems, among other systems.“This will be finished in the next three months so that importers and exporters no longer need to go back and forth to input [information] with the integrated system,” Airlangga added.The new stimulus adds to a Rp 10.3 trillion first stimulus package announcement on Feb. 25 that boosts staple need and mortgage subsidies for low-income families and fiscal incentives for travel-related industries. The government will also speed up disbursement of social spending in the first quarter as well as the new training subsidies called the pre-employment card this month. Indonesia announced on Friday it was allocating Rp 120 trillion (US$8.1 billion) from the state budget to stimulate the economy through tax incentives and subsidies for workers, businesses and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.The non-fiscal incentive is part of a second stimulus package worth Rp 22.9 trillion announced on the same day that includes individual and corporate tax breaks as well as relaxation in loan disbursement and restructuring.Such non-fiscal policies include reducing the number of export restrictions, omitting the requirement to provide a health certificate and V-Legal documents unless required by importing countries. Similarly, it will scrap 749 harmonized system (HS) codes, consisting of 443 HS codes for fish and fish products and 306 HS codes for forestry products. The government has prepared a non-fiscal stimulus package that aims to ease current restrictions and accelerate export-import activities, targeting business sectors battered by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said both fiscal and non-fiscal stimuli were rolled out by the government to keep the real sector moving amid the novel coronavirus spread that disrupted business activity and global supply chains.“These stimuli took aim at fueling the real sector to work and maintaining people’s purchasing power,” Airlangga told a news conference in Jakarta on Friday.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Pompeo sees WHO role in polio despite virus feud

first_imgTopics : Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced openness Thursday to US participation in World Health Organization efforts on polio and other diseases, despite vows to freeze funds over its coronavirus response.President Donald Trump on April 14 said he would cut off money to the UN body which he accused of acting too late on the pandemic and blindly taking the word of China, where the SARS-CoV-2 virus was first detected.Pompeo, in two interviews on Thursday, said the Trump administration recognized that the WHO worked on a wide range of issues. The wild version of the crippling disease only remains in two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio vaccination has been an international priority.Pompeo’s remarks came as lawmakers from the rival Democratic Party press for details on WHO funding cuts, saying the Trump administration has only offered talking points and not specified how it is cutting funds.The United States has been the top donor to the WHO, contributing more than $400 million a year.Critics say Trump has sought to highlight missteps by the WHO to deflect blame over his own handling of COVID-19, which has killed almost 75,000 people in the United States, far more than any other country.center_img “We’re trying to figure out, are there pieces of it that still make sense?  It’s done good work in some places on polio and the like,” Pompeo told conservative radio host Chris Stigall.Pompeo separately told host Jack Heath: “Let’s see if there’s a piece of this which we ought to continue to participate in because it’s doing good work on polio or whatever it may be.”Even before Trump’s vows of funding cuts, health workers have been warning that the coronavirus pandemic will set back efforts to fight other diseases.Michel Zaffran, who heads the WHO’s program to eradicate polio, told AFP last month that the disease could advance again as workers have been forced to suspend vaccination efforts.last_img read more

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