State Budget Cut Causes Worries

Tuesday, 09 August 2016 , 16:00:00 WIB - Politics

Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati (left), with Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung (right), is seen giving statements to the press regarding her decision to cut the State Budget 2016, Jakarta, Wednesday (3/8). (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS - The government’s recent announcement to cut its budget in the State Budget 2016 is coming under criticism as the cut is quite hefty or Rp133.8 trillion, Rp65 trillion for ministries and Rp68.8 trillion for regional administrators.

House of Representatives Commission I member TB Hasanuddin would not agree if the Ministry of Defense is subject to the cut. The government had not discussed this with the ministry, the Indonesian Army (TNI) and the House of Representatives. Commission I (which oversees defense issues) hopes that the ministry is not subject to the policy, bearing in mind the numerous vital programs that need to be carried out, he said, in a written statement to gres.news, Tuesday (9/8).

However, Hasanuddin may not need to worry as the government has been treating the ministry differently. In the previous budget cut, while other departments saw their budget slashed, the Ministry of Defense enjoyed an increase from Rp98.5 trillion to Rp108.7 trillion.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Finance Sri Mulyani assures that the policy will not disrupt the national economy as the cuts would apply to non-priority programs.

"Such as personnel expenditure, operational spending, travel expenses and construction of government buildings that are not urgent. They have no effect the national economic growth, poverty alleviation and economic disparity, Sri said in her office, Jakarta, Friday (5/8).

She also reminded that Rp65 trillion is small compared to the total budget of Rp767 trillion.

The Indonesian Builders Association (Gapensi) hopes the government does not cut its budget for the Ministry of Public Housing and Public Works as the ministry’s budget had already been reduced to Rp7 trillion to Rp104 trillion.

The association also claims that the ministry has been performing well, saying that government infrastructure and construction projects contributed significantly to Indonesia’s economic growth that reached 5.18 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2016, from last year in the same period, and 4.02 percent from the previous quarter.

The government has made breakthroughs in this sector, which contributed to the 5.18 percent growth, said. Andi Rukman Karumpa, Secretary General, Central Executive Board, Gapensi.

The Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono confirms that his ministry will be subject to the budget cut and will even bear the largest cut with the total reaching Rp8.459 trillion, from Rp104.08 trillion.

Nonetheless, he assures that the policy will not affect his ministry’s performance. We will cut spending for work travels and meetings that are not urgent. We will also extend the deadline for multiyear projects, for instance, from two years to three," he said. (dtc)

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