Indonesia to cut tax on property, car sales hinh anh 1This aerial picture shows dense settlements seen in downtown Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) - Indonesia will introduce new tax breaks on property and automotive sales this year in a bid to accelerate its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto has said.

Speaking at a virtual briefing on January 16, he said the Indonesian government will provide a 50 percent discount on value-added tax (VAT) for sales of homes valued under 2 billion rupiah (140,000 USD) and a 25 percent discount on VAT for homes valued between 2 billion rupiah to 5 billion rupiah until June.

Several schemes of tax cuts will also be given for sales of cars worth under 250 million rupiah, Airlangga said.

The Indonesian government had provided tax breaks for property and car sales last year under different schemes, which had expired in December.

In addition to the moves aiming at stimulating economic recovery, Indonesia is also responding to the spread of the Omicron variant.

New coronavirus infections in Indonesia rose to 1,054 on January 15, the highest in three months, amid reports of local transmission of the more contagious Omicron. The country reported 855 new infections on January 16, taking its total COVID-19 case tally to 4.27 million.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin told the same briefing his government is preparing the capital Jakarta as its “first battleground against Omicron”.

The government has prepared 400,000 tablets of Molnupiravir and planned to coordinate with US-based Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics for production in Indonesia by March or April, Budi said, adding that the country is also in the process of bringing in Pfizer’s Paxlovid drug, which is expected to be available next month./.