FINANCE Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati asked the government to continue to carry out various infrastructure development programs ranging from education to health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the atmosphere of COVID-19, we have not forgotten development activities. We still hope that even in the atmosphere of COVID-19 we carry out development programs,” she said at the 2021 SBSN Infrastructure Project Financing Policy Forum in Jakarta, Wednesday.

Sri Mulyani said that infrastructure development in the health sector has become very vital in the midst of a pandemic, considering that it functions in dealing with this health crisis.

“In the health sector, it is clear that a lot of people do not only handle COVID-19 but also upgrade hospitals. Therefore, to be able to support the development process in a pandemic atmosphere, the government must continue to create and develop creative financing instruments,” she said.

Sri Mulyani explained that one of the creative financing instruments was the State Sharia Securities (SBSN), which has been implemented since 2013. The number of ministries/agencies (K/L) that joined using SBSN was increasing, from one K/L in 2013 to eight K/L in 2020 and 11 K/L in 2021.

“The accumulative value of the financing reaches IDR145.84 trillion. Not only that, the use of SBSN to finance infrastructure projects is also an effort to improve economic development and Islamic instruments in Indonesia,” she noted.

She added, regarding SBSN which is linked to the project, very close collaboration with ministries/agencies is extremely important. The performance and quality of projects financed by SBSN must be of high quality considering that this project is financed by debt while the government must also continue to protect Indonesia’s debt.

“The performance and quality of the project must be good because it is financed by an instrument containing sharia elements, of course we have more moral obligations to maintain it,” she concluded. [antaranews/photo special]