Asked about Debts, Here is Sri Mulyani Answer
JAKARTA, NNC – The issue of state debt comes into spotlight of many parties. Although the swelling of debt is not only happening in Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla (Jokowi-JK) government alone, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati again explains why the government as if hooked to loan.
Sri Mulyani said if asked to choose she would want to increase state revenue rather than debt. But the problem is not as easy as saying. Because the state revenue is still lower than state expenditure aka State Budget deficit. So the debt becomes one of the financing instruments selected by the government to patch the shortage.
“If only have IDR1,894 trillion from tax revenue and non-tax state revenue, but the spending is IDR2,200 trillion, so how come? Make debts. Then the people say I’m happy to make debts right? No, I’m not happy. I’m happy if the IDR1,894 trillion could become IDR3,000 trillion. So, spending the IDR2,200 trillion, we can still save,” related she.
It is just, explained Sri Mulyani, to achieve the budget of IDR3,000 trillion is not magic. “The Finance Minister cannot simply print money,” she said in an official statement, Monday (5/28/2018).
Sri Mulyani explained the state budget deficit cannot be solved by printing money as much as possible. Excessively printed money will cause inflation, that is, the rise in prices of goods and services, which means the decline in the value of the rupiah currency.
Therefore, Sri Mulyani asserted, the government continues to reduce the debt ratio and increase state revenues through a fair tax.
“The government keeps trying to improve revenue. It’s better not to take debt. That’s right. And I, as Finance Minister, want it so. But I cannot change it instantly. That’s why we are now starting to reduce the debt ratio, the amount of deficit every year. Thus, we improve taxation, tax reform. Those affluent [people] really should pay so much, the somewhat rich, well pay a bit more, the mediocre, pay a mediocre [portion], the poor, do not pay, even [they are] given money. It’s fair, right?” she explained.
To pursue large taxpayers, one of the government’s strategies is to recruit forensic accounting experts to help the government track the big taxpayers hid their money. In addition, Indonesia also entered into international agreements with about 100 countries through Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI) to track Indonesian money hidden away overseas and vice versa.
“It is said that five percent of Indonesians are very. Yes, those are we are chasing. But the money is not just here. So, we are now looking for great people to find their money. It needs a lot of people who can be trusted, smart forensic accounting person. And we internationally make the agreement with [around] 100 countries in the world. If there are any Indonesian people save money in your country, you have to report to me. If someone else saves money here, I also have to report to it. And [the exchange of information] is done automatically [via AEoI]. It’s very important,” she concluded.