The policies implementation from the appeal to conduct social and physical distancing to the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) is a government effort to inhibit the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia which shows increasing trends in cases of infected. This policy will certainly have an impact on the Indonesian economy, both from the macro and micro dimensions. From the macro side, the projection of Indonesia's economic growth is expected to fall to 2.3% even in the worst-case scenario can reach negative 0.4%. From the micro side, the company began to consider and even carry out organizational restructuring which resulted in many employee layoffs. Informal workers and marginalized groups are the most affected layers of the community with the occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dealing with these situations, Islamic economics can be an alternative in reducing the burden faced by the government. Through the role of Islamic commercial and social finance, economic activities can be better maintained in conditions such as epidemics. Therefore, BAZNAS Center of Strategic Studies deems it necessary to conduct a webinar with the theme "The Role of Integrated Commercial and Social Finance in Times of COVID-19 Outbreak". This webinar was the first series of Puskas Webinar Series and had been successfully held on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

The webinar was broadcast live through the BAZNAS TV channel on the Youtube page with the main speaker Dr.Ir.Ascarya, MBA, M.Sc. During the webinar, Dr. Ascarya explained the role of Islamic commercial finance and Islamic social finance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The solutions offered by Islamic social finance are zakat and waqf. Zakat can push aggregate demand by providing assistance to eight groups of Ashnaf especially the poor.  While waqf can play a role in providing free healthcare facilities and producing substitutes for imported goods and services. Besides Waqf and Infaq could be used in the development of online commerce/market for MSEs to break the wall between demand and supply, while maintaining physical distancing. Then, Islamic commercial finance can implement three sectors of fintech-banking to create a better Islamic financial ecosystem.

Participants were encouraged to give questions through the live chat feature during a discussion. The enthusiasm of the participants was seen from the many questions adhered to the speaker at the end of the webinar session. Hopefully, with this webinar can provide knowledge to the participants of the webinar and broaden insight about the Islamic economy in its role to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

 

Rep: Puskas BAZNAS