Wed, 18 Feb 2009
From: The Jakarta Globe
By Dian Ariffahmi
Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu on Tuesday reassured reporters that the central government would not be issuing a decree forcing civil servants only to buy domestically made products. She is, however, pursuing a government-sanctioned campaign to encourage the use of Indonesian products.

“This is a national campaign to raise people’s awareness about local products over those that are imported,” Pangestu said after a meeting to discuss the “I love Indonesia” promotional campaign. “I assure you that there will not be any regulation on this.”

The campaign is to promote the use of Indonesian goods as a way of helping the nation cope with the global economic crisis. The issue has become critical as export markets have dried up, commodity prices have dropped and the government has sought ways to reduce imports as the rupiah weakens.

The minister clarified that a decree punishing civil servants for not buying Indonesian was in the air after a suggestion by another cabinet minister on Sunday that such a regulation could be imposed.

Industry Minister Fahmi Idris had told journalists that the government was preparing a ministerial decree requiring civil servants to use domestic clothing and footwear products, and that they could face sanctions for violating the order. “The regulation also mentions sanctions if [civil servants] do not use domestic products,” Fahmi had said.

“Three ministries connected to this policy will specifically discuss the regulation on local product use for civil servants this week,” Fahmi had said.

When asked on Tuesday when the government would issue the proposed decree, Fahmi declined to answer.



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