The Jakarta Post
The House of Representatives has ratified a protocol to implement the Sixth Package of Commitments on Financial Services under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS).
“In the plenary session, we officially turned the AFAS bill into law,” said House deputy speaker Taufik Kurniawan, who led the plenary session at the House building, attended by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
On Mar 20, 2015, then-finance minister Bambang Brodjonegoro signed a commitment to ratify the protocol, along with the finance ministers of other ASEAN countries. Nine other ASEAN countries have ratified the protocol.
Sri Mulyani tanked lawmakers for ratifying the AFAS, saying it would help Indonesian banks operate in other ASEAN countries.
“This protocol will help Indonesian banks to expand their business abroad, but still they have to maintain the interests of the Indonesian people,” said Sri Mulyani in her speech after the bill’s ratification.
House Commission XI, which oversees financial affairs, had approved the bill at a meeting on April 11. However, all factions in the commission gave their notes before agreeing to the ratification of the bill.
They urged the government to expedite the process for a planned amendment of the Banking Law. “After the ratification of the AFAS bill, we need to immediately amend the Banking Law,” said Commission XI member Ana Nurita Muchtar, a lawmaker of the NasDem Party, on April 11.
Meanwhile, United Development Party (PPP) lawmaker Elviana warned the government to watch out for any negative effects of the AFAS ratification, particularly with regard to a possible dominance of foreign banks in the country. (bbn)