The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo responded on Monday to criticism about the budget allocated by the government for the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group Annual Meetings, saying that part of the fund was used to expand the apron at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.
He said the expansion of the apron was not only important for the event it would also be used by the tourism industry.
“We will still use [the facility] and lose nothing,” Jokowi told journalists after speaking at the anniversary of North Sumatra University in Medan.
His statement was in response to criticism from several opposition figures who said the government had spent too much money on the event.
The government allocated Rp 855.5 billion (US$56.15 million), which had been approved by the House of Representatives last year. The President stressed that the fund was not being used to serve the participants of the meetings because they were in Bali at their own expense.
Jokowi said the event was important for the Indonesian economy because it promoted the country to the international community.
“Many countries have competed to host the meeting and Indonesia is proud to have been picked. It will have a positive impact on us,” he added. (bbn)