Caledonian dreaming

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Govt. channels Rp 11.84t to MSMEs and cooperatives, admits slow disbursement

first_imgSmall and medium enterprises (SME), which contribute to more than half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), have been greatly affected by the pandemic, as Indonesia’s economic growth slowed to 2.97 percent in the first quarter of 2020.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani recently stated that the government was working on a plan to transfer working capital directly to MSMEs that have yet to receive access to financing from banks.It has also disbursed credit insurance premiums worth Rp 5 trillion to state-owned credit insurers PT Jaminan Kredit Indonesia (Jamkrindo) and PT Asuransi Kredit Indonesia (Askrindo) to guarantee working capital loans of Rp 100 trillion and help MSMEs survive the pandemic.The scheme will provide guarantees for banks that channel loans to MSMEs until November 2021, as well as cover loans with a ceiling of Rp 10 billion and a tenor of three years available for 60.6 million MSMEs from all business sectors.State-owned Bank Mandiri, which received Rp 10 trillion in funds from the government to boost loan disbursement, is planning to increase its financing threefold in the next three months, according to Donsuwan Simatupang, the bank’s director of institutional relations.The bank has channeled Rp 12 trillion in financing as of July 17, of which 25 percent went to 14,500 small businesses, Donsuwan said.The bank utilizes a mobile app called Mandiri Pintar to facilitate small businesses wanting to apply for new productive microloans or top up their current productive loans.“This loan mobile app on Android is very practical because the application process can take place anywhere and anytime.”Tempeh seller Rasjeni, who has been selling the soy product for three decades in Depok, West Java, recently received Rp 150 million from Bank Mandiri’s KUR program.She previously received an Rp 85 million loan from the program but had to apply for an additional loan to survive her business’s 50 percent decline in revenue as the pandemic has forced her customers, such as food stalls and vegetable traders, to temporarily close.“Almost all of them were closed,” said Rasjeni. “But thank God, my business has recovered and now I have four employees.” “We acknowledge the slow progress,” the ministry’s secretary Rully Indrawan said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are still trying to identify the obstacles. The program’s introduction to the public has not been going very well.”According to ministry data, most of the stimulus was disbursed through state-owned banks in the form of debt restructuring funds, Rp 381.4 billion went to investment funds for 34 cooperatives through the Revolving Fund Management Agency (LPDB), while the remaining was used for interest subsidies for MSMEs via the microcredit program (KUR).He added that the government aimed to disburse all the funds by September, expecting to accelerate spending with the issuance of the Finance Ministry’s budget execution lists (DIPA).The government has been working to accelerate the disbursement of COVID-19 response stimulus funds, totaling Rp 695.2 trillion, to cushion the economic impacts of the pandemic, after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo criticized its slow progress. Topics :center_img The government has channeled Rp 11.84 trillion (US$809.1 million) from the COVID-19 stimulus package to small businesses and cooperatives as of Tuesday but conceded that it had been slow in disbursing the funds.More than 1 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and cooperatives will receive the stimulus, Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry data showed.The disbursement is part of the government’s national economic recovery (PEN) program, which will allocate Rp 123.46 trillion to aid small businesses and cooperatives amid the ongoing health crisis. Tuesday’s figure made up only 9.59 percent of the total budget.last_img read more

Merseyside derby ends with stalemate

first_img Midfielder Marouane Fellaini had the visitors’ best chance, volleying wide from close range in the first half, while Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard saw Sylvain Distin clear off the line after the break. Distin had the ball in the just before the hour from a Leighton Baines’ corner only for referee Michael Oliver to disallow it after the usual pushing and holding in the penalty area as he booked Victor Anichebe for dissent. However, just three bookings in a game which has seen 20 red cards in the previous 41 meetings indicated a lack of bite. Liverpool and Everton shared the spoils in a forgettable 220th Merseyside derby bereft of incident which ended in a goalless draw at Anfield. Sixth-placed Everton, five points ahead of their near-neighbours, did not have enough in their locker to end their drought on enemy territory and Jamie Carragher, on his 30th and final Merseyside derby before retirement, had one of his quieter afternoons. Liverpool looked to utilise Daniel Sturridge’s pace early on with Jordan Henderson’s superb 60-yard crossfield ball into his path surpassed only by Gerrard’s from the opposite diagonal which resulted in Distin clearing the striker’s cross. Gerrard’s further participation became a concern when he crashed to the floor in tangling with Leon Osman and although he moved gingerly for the next few minutes there was little chance of the Huyton-born midfielder dropping out of this one early. But in truth the visitors took their superiority in the table onto the pitch as they had the better of the opening 25 minutes in which they should have taken the lead. Fellaini had the best chance of the half when he got on the end of Baines’ free-kick but somehow shot across goal and just wide of the far post from about four yards. Philippe Coutinho, the mastermind of last week’s 6-0 drubbing of Newcastle, had initially struggled in the frenetic derby atmosphere, but early in the second half he played a fine through ball but Sturridge could not get round Tim Howard in a one-on-one situation and eventually fired into the side-netting. Distin’s disallowed effort followed, with Anichebe lucky not to be punished further. Coutinho opted for delicacy as opposed to power and lifted a shot well over before Gerrard – after a swift passing exchange with Sturridge – was denied only by Distin’s goalline clearance after the midfielder had gone around Howard before the match petered out in a goalless draw. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

The Christian and Poverty vs. Wealth (Part I)

first_imgThe questions of poverty and wealth have been with and will most likely stay with mankind forever. Jesus himself says that we will always have the poor with us (John 12:8). Poverty and wealth are found in every part of the world. Millions wallow in abject poverty in most parts of the globe and a small minority lives in luxury. While the vast majority of the people in the Western World (Western Europe, America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) have their basic needs met, the vast majority in Africa, parts of Asia and Latin America live in appalling conditions without adequate food, shelter, safe drinking water and basic medical care. The Christian Church is part and parcel of both worlds with both the extreme poor and the extreme rich among its ranks. What then is the Christian perspective and attitude towards both? What should be the Christian view and attitude to both?We propose a series to explore both of these issues of poverty and wealth. This introductory article will zero in on some definitions of poverty and wealth and a survey of prevailing Christian attitudes to both. Articles two and three will focus on issues of poverty and the last two articles (four and five) on issues of wealth. In article two the thrust will be on why the widespread realities of poverty in the world, and article three will consider what can and should be done to drastically reduce it. The fifth article will delve into the Christian perspectives on wealth, and the concluding (fifth) will gauge the Christian views on wealth (its creation and distribution).It is very hard to give a definition of poverty that fits all kinds and degrees of poverty. Who are the poor? What is considered poor in one part of the world may be seen as wealthy in another. For example, having a television and access to electricity may be signs of relative wealth in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world while in developed nations those who possess these two may be among the poor. It might help to begin our definitions of poverty with the kinds of poverty. According to research done by John Stott, there are three major categories of poverty. These categories are the indignant or economically poor, the oppressed or powerless poor, and the humble or spiritual poor.Economically speaking the indignant poor are those who lack the basic necessities of life, namely, food, shelter, clothing and basic health needs. They are sometime referred to as the destitute. We may refer to people who have more than the basic necessities of life such a television, a vehicle, a smartphone, washing machine, two or three decent meals a day and the like that make life a bit more comfortable but in comparison with the rich poor relatively. They do not have luxury goods and items in abundance as the rich have. The word poor is also employed in reference to the one deserving pity and sympathy. Like we would say, “Poor Flomo, he recently lost both his job and his wife”.The oppressed poor, sociologically and politically speaking, are those whose rights are denied because of their race, tribe, religion, political affiliation or place of residence. They may have some material comforts but have no say in the decision making of the society they belong to. The spiritually poor are those who recognize and acknowledge their need and dependence on God. They do not confide solely in their own strength or any other human strength. Jesus calls them, “blessed are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:8). Our main concern in this series is with the materially poor.The rich on the other hand are those who have material abundance. This again is relative in relation to a particular society and depending on whom one is comparing the rich to. It is the complete opposite of the poor. They have lot of money and property and can afford the comforts of life. Poor can be used in terms of interesting and variety. “The country has a rich history and culture”.A study of Church history reveals that there has been and still is a variety of Christian views on poverty and wealth ranging from seeing material poverty as the way of the true Christian life to regarding wealth as the reward of genuine faith, from seeing poverty as a mark of true spirituality to regarding wealth as an offense or obstacle to faith. We shall explore these a bit more in subsequent articles. Suffice it to say at this stage that poverty and wealth do affect real lives and how we regard them matters very much.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more