March 13, 2020 / 4:47 AM / in 22 days

Indonesia to support economy with $8 bln stimulus to counter virus impact

JAKARTA, March 13 (Reuters) - The Indonesian government has prepared a 120 trillion rupiah ($8.1 billion) stimulus package to support Southeast Asia's biggest economy as the spread of coronavirus disrupts global activities, the country's finance minister said.

The stimulus, representing 0.8% of gross domestic product, includes exempting workers in manufacturing from income tax and giving manufacturing companies a 30% discount on corporate tax payments, both measures to take effect starting April for six months, Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told a news conference.

She said the budget deficit this year was expected to widen to 2.5% of GDP, from an initial plan to keep it around 1.8%.

In addition, rules on loan restructuring for small and medium companies will be relaxed so that banks can start restructuring regardless of loan size, Financial Services Authority chief Wimboh Santoso said.

$1 = 14,810 rupiah Reporting by Maikel Jefriando Writing by Gayatri Suroyo Editing by Ed Davies & Shri Navaratnam

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