Indonesia needs to “protect the people” and spend more to support them during the pandemic — and it’s not likely to impair the economic recovery, the country’s finance minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, claimed on Tuesday.

The so-called social safety net for Indonesians has been increased by 20% while health-care expenditure has been upped by nearly 19%, Sri Mulyani told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday. Indonesia’s social safety net policies extend government support to the poor and those impacted by economic crisis.

“This is definitely shifting on our focus on the budget to protect the people,” she said. “Certainly, we want this not to be too long and that’s why it’s not going to affect our third quarter performance of the economy.”

Indonesia’s economy showed a “very strong rebound and recovery” in the second quarter, the minister said, adding that the focus is now on ensuring that the highly virulent delta virus can be…

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