Indonesia's Widodo proposes $186 billion 2021 budget, 5.5% of GDP deficit

Indonesian President Joko Widodo dressed in a traditional Indonesian traditional costume from Sabu, gestures as he delivers a speech ahead of the 75th Independence Day, at the parliament building in Jakarta, Indonesia, August, 14, 2020. Courtesy of Indonesian Presidential Palace/Agus Suparto/Handout via REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Friday proposed to parliament a 2,747.5 trillion rupiah ($186.08 billion) budget for 2021 and pledged to continue efforts to support the economy amid uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget proposal, which represents only a 0.3% increase compared with this year’s spending plans, assumed growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy will rebound to 4.5%-5.5% in 2021, following an official prediction of near flat growth this year.

The proposal assumes a budget deficit of 5.5% of GDP, smaller than the 6.34% expected in 2020.

“The 2021 state budget bill is designed to accelerate economic recovery nationwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Widodo said in his annual budget speech to parliament, ahead of the country’s independence celebrations on Aug. 17.

Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo, Fransiska Nangoy, Tabita Diela and Maikel Jefriando; Editing by Ed Davies