Headlines

Darmin finally named BI
governor

JP/Wendra Ajistyatama

After raising tough questions on a number of sensitive issues related to tax fraud, the House of Representatives finally agreed by acclamation Thursday to name former director general of taxation Darmin Nasution as the new central bank governor.

“All sides agreed by acclamation to appoint Darmin Nasution Bank Indonesia governor,” Emir Moeis, the chairman of the House Commission XI overseeing finance and banking said.

The fit and proper test held by the commission to select Darmin as the central bank’s number one man began Wednesday. Darmin, now the central bank’s acting governor, spent most of the time answering questions related to tax fraud during the hearing rather than explaining his vision on how to lead the country’s central bank.

During the hearing, House members referred to a number of the government’s controversial decisions in providing special tax treatment, for example, to Paulus Tumewu, the founder of the Ramayana business group, US-based oil and gas company Halliburton, as well as to business conglomerates Sinar Mas and Astra.

Darmin denied all allegations, saying most of the tax cases raised by House members took place before his tenure as director general of taxation.

Darmin who was born in Tapanuli, North Sumatra, served at the tax office before being elected as the central bank’s senior deputy governor in July 2009, replacing Miranda S. Gultom. He was subsequently appointed to be the central bank’s acting governor following the resignation of Boediono, who is now vice president.

Speaking to reporters after a closed-door meeting, Moeis said all the parties in the commission supported Darmin’s election “but with tough caveats”.

Commission member Nusron Wahid of the Golkar Party said Darmin should resign from his post as BI governor if it was discovered that he was involved in a corruption case.

Eight other parties in the House echoed similar lines.

Three parties — Golkar, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) — said Darmin should resign if he ever became a suspect.

But other parties, including the Democratic Party, the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and the National Awakening Party (PKB) said he should resign only he was charged with wrongdoing.

“We should consider his legal rights. As long as he isn’t charged, we still have to assume his innocence.

So he shouldn’t have to resign from his position,” said I Wayan Gunastra from the Democratic Party.

However, he said, Darmin should be given a political and moral contract aimed at establishing a more credible central bank with integrity.

In their caveats, commission members expressed hope that the newly appointed central bank governor could protect the institution’s integrity and independence. (ebf)


Darmin’s profile

Born: Tapanuli, North Sumatra on Dec. 21, 1948
Education:
- Bachelor of Science in Economics, University of Indonesia (1976)
- PhD in Economics, University of Paris I, Sorbonne, France (1986)
Career:
• Deputy Chairman of the University of Indonesia’s Institute for Economic and Social Research (LPEM UI) (1987)
• Head of the University of Indonesia’s Economic and Social Research Institute (1989)
• First Assistant for the Trade and Industry Ministry (1993)
• Assistant to  the Production and Distribution Coordinating Minister (1995)
• First Assistant to the Development Monitoring Minister (1998)
• Director general of financial institutions at the Finance Ministry (2000-2005)
• Chairman of Indonesia’s Capital Market and Financial Institution Supervisory Agency (2006)
• Director General of Taxation (2006)
- Senior Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia (July 2009)

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