Widodo reshuffles his cabinet to spur growth

JAKARTA There was a sense of urgency in Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s appointment in July of new members to his cabinet — notably in the selection of the high-profile managing director of the World Bank, Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

Indonesia’s economic growth has been slower than expected, and infrastructure development, intended to leverage the economy, has been sluggish. Tax revenue is also falling short of ambitious targets.

Poor coordination among ministries has been partially blamed for hampering many important infrastructure projects. In the meantime, Widodo’s new flagship tax amnesty policy, aimed at boosting tax revenue to finance development projects, is progressing very slowly.

Against this background, Widodo announced on July 27 his new cabinet lineup, including major changes in his economic team. In total, nine ministers were replaced and four others changed posts.

“I want all the ministers, all heads of government institutions, to work faster, to work more effectively, in a team that is solid and is supportive [of] one another,” Widodo said at a cabinet meeting less than two hours after the ministers were sworn in.

The biggest name among the appointees was Indrawati, who served as finance minister from 2005 to 2010 during an earlier administration led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Indrawati said on July 27 she has resigned from the World Bank to accept the cabinet post. She has already been given the task of ensuring successful implementation of the tax amnesty law.

“I’m extending warnings to the tax director general and the finance minister in regards to many complaints about tax amnesty services. Some people said they came to a tax office only to find no one to explain, or to find officers who cannot explain things in details,” Widodo said, urging the new minister to fix such problems immediately.

The appointment of Indrawati, who has featured regularly in Forbes magazine’s list of the 100 most powerful women in the world, won widespread approval.

Djayadi Hanan, executive director of Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting, a Jakarta think tank, said it will enhance international confidence in the Widodo government.



Sumber: Nikkei.com





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