The Jakarta Post
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has stressed that the new regulation to be issued in days will curb imports on consumer goods, which were blamed for ballooning trade deficit in July and increasing the current account deficit (CAD).
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo summoned a number of economic ministers to have a meeting on the issue on Tuesday.
Speaking after the meeting, Sri Mulyani said the new finance ministerial regulation was a revision to Finance Ministerial Regulation (PMK) No. 34/2017. “We will announce the PMK soon,” said Sri Mulyani, estimating that it would be issued on Wednesday or Thursday.
The government has been mulling over increasing the import tax for about 900 consumer goods that have local equivalents in an effort to narrow the CAD.
Meanwhile, Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution explained that under the regulation, import tariffs would not only be in the form of customs duties, but would also refer to import income tax or PPh Article 22 as well.
“The point is that it refers to the PPh 22 regulation. It will not [directly] add to the import cost because it can be paid in credit and can be calculated when the importers pay [other] income taxes,” Darmin said.
The CAD widened to US$8 billion in the second quarter of this year, equal to 3 percent of GDP, according to Bank Indonesia data. (bbn)