A cabinet meeting on the last day of March changed the course of the most ambitious digital policy initiative Indonesia has ever seen, the Pre-Employment Programme.
At the meeting, President Joko Widodo—also known as Jokowi—and his ministers huddled together to finalise Indonesia’s first Covid-19 rescue package. One of the outcomes was that the Pre-Employment Card Programme—known as Kartu Pra Kerja in Indonesian—was to receive double the funds it was allocated before the pandemic; IDR 20 trillion (US$1.4 billion) instead of IDR 10 trillion. Its launch was also moved up to the end of April instead of May.
Pra Kerja’s budget increase wasn’t much more than a footnote in the IDR 405 trillion (US$24.7 billion) relief package the government put together that day.