The Jakarta Post
Indonesia’s foreign debt reached US$375.5 billion in late January or a 10.3 percent growth compared to the same month last year, Bank Indonesia (BI) said on Thursday.
The central bank added that the increase in foreign debt was mostly used to finance infrastructure projects and other productive activities.
It said the government and BI debts reached $183.4 billion, while the debt of private companies reached $174.2 billion.
“Bank Indonesia in coordination with the government will continuously monitor foreign debt to ensure that it is used to finance development without any risk to economic stability,” said the BI statement.
The majority of government debt ($180.8 billion) was in the form of debt papers, while the remaining debt ($55.7 billion) was loans from foreign creditors.
Meanwhile, Institute for Development of Economics and Finance economist Bhima Yudhistita expressed his concern over the foreign debt increase, saying that it was not productive as it was not equal to the tax revenue collected by the government.
“Foreign debt grew 10.3 percent, but tax revenue only grew 4 percent on average in the last two years,” Bhima said, as reported by tempo.co on Thursday, adding that the debt-to-tax revenue ratio last year was at 31 percent, compared to 26 percent in 2016.
Bhima added that foreign debt was unequal to economic growth, which was recorded at about 5 percent last year. (bbn)