Bali has suffered unprecedented financial setbacks resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic. An economic analyst, IGK Sandjaja Putra, interviewed in Balipost.com on Tuesday, 15 March 2022, said that Bali entrepreneurs burdened with debt repayment desperately need a “bailout.”
Putra explained that the “bailouts” would be cash injections needed for bankrupt or near-bankrupt companies or banks in financial difficulties to cover their short-term debt.
Putra, a former commissioner of PT Jamkrida Bali – a government-owned credit guarantor agency, described the financial circumstances of many companies in Bali as very dire. Adding: “For two years of suffering during the pandemic, tourism and the economy of Bali is almost dead; this is difficult and will take a long time to recover.”
The respected observer of the Balinese economy said that despite the increased mobility signaled by the reopening of Bali to international travelers, Bali would not soon recover from the economic setbacks caused by the pandemic. In the current situation, Sandjaja called on the government to be more aggressive in providing bridging relief to affected companies and agencies.
“For instance, aid could be given by reducing, relaxing, and rescheduling the debt of Bali companies. Bailouts can remove accumulated interested payments and write-offs of principal amounts,” explained Putra. He said bailouts should be prioritized for small and medium-sized enterprises and cooperatives, adding: “the authorizing officers (for the bailout assistance) must bot be penalized by prosecutions in the future.”
Meanwhile, Putra said entrepreneurs seeking to become “new” borrowers could be given liquidity assistance via low-interest rates. He also suggested that banks as creditors should not take margins and spreads that are too large from the interest rates charged and provide long repayment periods.
Sandjaja concluded, “So, is there any leader asking the President, or the related ministers, to undertake these steps?”