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Jakarta Post

Government to maintain budget deficit policy to stoke growth

  • Viriya P. Singgih

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 26, 2017   /  06:30 pm
Government to maintain budget deficit policy to stoke growth Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati (right) and Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (left) enter a press conference at the Finance Ministry in Jakarta. (Antara/Rosa Panggabean)

The government plans to maintain its budget deficit policy in a bid to keep boosting infrastructure development nationwide, which is expected to stoke economic growth in the long run.

“Our deficit level is still relatively better compared to other countries around the world. Hence, we will carefully maintain our financing strategy out of this deficit level,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in Jakarta on Thursday.

“We will collaborate with all partners to present the case of our country and our budget in the most credible way without having to compromise our own integrity and professionalism,” she added.

(Read also: Govt to play safe with 2017 state budget)

Asian countries in general are targeting upgraded infrastructure to boost their economies, with an estimated US$1 trillion gap that needed to be fulfilled annually to support such development, the minister said.

Since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office in 2014, infrastructure spending in the state budget has constantly grown. It jumped 63 percent in 2015 to Rp 290.3 trillion (US$21.75 billion), 8 percent in 2016 to Rp 313.5 trillion and 23.5 percent in 2017 to Rp 387.3 trillion.

At the same time, Indonesia’s state budget stood at Rp 318.5 trillion, equal to 2.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 before falling to Rp 307.7 trillion, or 2.46 percent of GDP last year. For 2017, the government has set a deficit target of Rp 330.2 trillion, or 2.41 percent of GDP. (bbn)

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