Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesian Government has unveiled a new microcredit program (KUR) for laid-off workers and housewives who own micro-sized businesses to help them recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Coordinating Economic Ministry’s deputy for macroeconomic and finance, Iskandar Simorangkir, the government aimed to disburse supermicro KUR loans worth 12 trillion Rp (814 million USD) to 3 million people by the end of this year.

He said at a virtual press briefing that he expects this programmes, which will be launched by the end of August, can help laid-off workers and housewives build their micro-sized productive businesses.

The latest data from the Indonesian Manpower Ministry shows that as many as 2.15 million workers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) projects unemployment rate to reach between 8.19 percent and 9.2 percent this year, significantly higher than 2019’s figure of 5.28 percent.

Iskandar further explained that the programme would cater to laid-off workers and housewives who have had a running business for at least three to six months and have never received KUR loans before.  

Although the programme is aimed at helping those affected by COVID-19, the government plans to continue the programme after the pandemic to encourage entrepreneurship, which is expected to contribute to the country’s welfare and economic growth, he said.

The Coordinating Economic Affairs Ministry’s data shows that KUR loan disbursement reached 89.2 trillion Rp for 2.67 million debtors as of July.

The Indonesian Government has raised the KUR loan disbursement ceiling for this year to 198.73 trillion Rp from the previous 176.53 trillion Rp./.