JAKARTA — Indonesia will introduce new tax breaks on property and automotive sales this year in a bid to accelerate its economic recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as authorities prepare for the spread of the Omicron variant, top officials said on Sunday.

New coronavirus infections in Indonesia rose to 1,054 on Saturday, the highest in three months, amid reports of local transmission of the more contagious Omicron. The country reported 855 new infections on Sunday, taking its total COVID-19 case tally to 4.27 million.

The government will provide a 50% discount on value-added tax (VAT) for sales of homes valued under 2 billion rupiah ($140,000) and a 25% discount on VAT for homes valued between 2 billion rupiah to 5 billion rupiah until June, Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said in a virtual briefing.

Airlangga said several schemes of tax cuts will also be given for sales of cars worth under 250 million rupiah, some of which will expire at the end of March, while others at the end of September.

The government had provided tax breaks for property and car sales last year under different schemes, which had expired in December. — Reuters