Mon, 23 Aug 2010
From: The Jakarta Globe
By Muhamad Al Azhari & Dion Bisara
Jakarta. Since its release last week, analysts have lauded the 2011 state budget draft for cutting subsidies to make way for development spending, but some in the business community fear the cuts may be too much, too fast.

Subsidies have been slashed 8.2 percent in the draft to Rp 184.8 trillion ($20.5 billion), down from Rp 201.3 trillion.

“There are two benefits to reducing subsidies,” said Edimon Ginting, the Asian Development Bank’s senior economist for Indonesia. “One, the government can increase spending on infrastructure, which is now insufficient and hampers competitiveness.

“Two, the government can allocate more funds to education, health and social programs, so that economic growth can be followed by balanced social progress.”

Earlier this month, the ADB suggested that Indonesia gradually abolish fuel subsidies and allocate the freed funds to help low-income citizens.

Energy subsidies, which take the lion’s share of all subsidies, were cut 7.1 percent in the draft budget, down to Rp 133.8 trillion from 144 trillion.

Most of the reduction is in electricity subsidies, resulting in the unpopular 18 percent increase in the price of electricity this year and a planned increase of 15 percent next year. In the draft budge, electricity subsidies are cut 25.6 percent to Rp 41 trillion, from Rp 55.1 trillion.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who will undoubtedly face criticism for rising energy costs, defended the subsidy cuts in a speech last week, saying they would free up money for development projects. He said the government would ensure the remaining subsidies benefited the poor, not the rich.

The draft budget calls for a 28 percent increase in infrastructure spending, including Rp 121.7 trillion for improving electricity output and more for transportation.

“Just imagine if the government spent Rp 200 trillion on subsidies - we’d have a lot less to spend on infrastructure,” Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said on Friday.

Gundy Cahyadi, an analyst at OCBC Bank in Singapore, welcomed the proposed subsidy cuts and the accompanying rise in infrastructure spending.

“If the government can succeed in continuing to consolidate its subsidy spending and spend the extra money in other areas, we think Indonesia’s growth prospects should be fairly strong in the medium term,” he said.

Helmi Arman, a Jakarta-based economist with Bank Danamon, said the cuts to the electricity subsidies, which include a subsidy for oil used for power generation, would help reduce the state’s vulnerability to rising oil prices.

“Gradual energy subsidy reductions are the way to go,” Helmi said. “It’s better to implement gradual reductions now while global energy prices are still well anchored. Measured price increases now are better than abrupt increases later.”

Consumer fuel subsidies, intended to defend prices against rising oil prices, rose 4.4 percent this year to Rp 92.8 trillion, up from Rp 88.9 trillion.

Kurtubi, an independent oil analyst, said the government could reduce subsidies without triggering increases in electricity prices if it encouraged state power provider PLN to use gasoline and coal for electricity generation rather than diesel, which it mostly uses now.

Despite the widespread praise for the subsidy cuts, the business community is feeling uneasy about the potential cost increases that loom.

Sofjan Wanandi, chairman of the Indonesia Employers Association (Apindo), welcomed the cuts as a way to boost infrastructure spending, but urged caution. “We don’t want the cuts to end up burdening businesses, especially industry, because right now we are barely competitive,” he said.

Sofjan previously warned that domestic industries would lose their competitive advantage if electricity prices rose a further 15 percent next year.

He said the government should improve electricity distribution systems and related infrastructure before applying the rise, especially as local industries were struggling to cope with a surge of imported products.

Elsewhere in the draft budget, non-energy subsidies were cut 10.9 percent, bringing them from Rp 57.3 trillion to Rp 51 trillion.



News Search/Filter
Transaction Rates
21 Jun 18
Buy
Sell
AED1
3,802.33
3,802.33
AFN1
194.99
194.99
ALL1
128.37
128.37
AMD1
28.96
28.96
ANG1
7,694.52
7,694.52
AOA1
56.63
56.63
ARS1
503.73
503.73
AUD1
10,295.90
10,295.90
AWG1
7,811.32
7,811.32
AZN1
8,203.62
8,203.62
BAM1
8,255.32
8,255.32
BBD1
6,983.33
6,983.33
BDT1
165.28
165.28
BGN1
8,264.94
8,264.94
BHD1
36,960.02
36,960.02
BIF1
7.89
7.89
BMD1
13,966.67
13,966.67
BND1
9,245.03
9,245.03
BOB1
2,021.02
2,021.02
BRL1
3,704.09
3,704.09
BSD1
13,966.67
13,966.67
BTC1
94,382,681
94,382,681
BTN1
205.13
205.13
BWP1
1,344.88
1,344.88
BYN1
6,971.84
6,971.84
BZD1
6,947.79
6,947.79
CAD1
10,495.22
10,495.22
CDF1
8.65
8.65
CHF1
14,019.75
14,019.75
CLF1
598,144.50
598,144.50
CLP1
21.80
21.80
CNH1
2,155.41
2,155.41
CNY1
2,157.81
2,157.81
COP1
4.81
4.81
CRC1
24.63
24.63
CUC1
13,966.67
13,966.67
CUP1
547.71
547.71
CVE1
146.28
146.28
CZK1
626.00
626.00
DJF1
78.44
78.44
DKK1
2,169.87
2,169.87
DOP1
281.96
281.96
DZD1
118.96
118.96
EGP1
781.02
781.02
ERN1
930.51
930.51
ETB1
506.87
506.87
EUR1
16,170.16
16,170.16
FJD1
6,689.98
6,689.98
FKP1
18,398.09
18,398.09
GBP1
18,398.09
18,398.09
GEL1
5,688.87
5,688.87
GGP1
18,398.09
18,398.09
GHS1
2,953.28
2,953.28
GIP1
18,398.09
18,398.09
GMD1
295.81
295.81
GNF1
1.54
1.54
GTQ1
1,863.97
1,863.97
GYD1
66.90
66.90
HKD1
1,780.17
1,780.17
HNL1
582.27
582.27
HRK1
2,191.30
2,191.30
HTG1
209.80
209.80
HUF1
49.94
49.94
IDR1
1.00
1.00
ILS1
3,859.21
3,859.21
IMP1
18,398.09
18,398.09
INR1
205.21
205.21
IQD1
11.73
11.73
IRR1
0.32
0.32
ISK1
127.89
127.89
JEP1
18,398.09
18,398.09
JMD1
105.73
105.73
JOD1
19,657.33
19,657.33
JPY1
126.53
126.53
KES1
138.15
138.15
KGS1
204.49
204.49
KHR1
3.43
3.43
KMF1
32.85
32.85
KPW1
15.51
15.51
KRW1
12.59
12.59
KWD1
46,136.50
46,136.50
KYD1
16,758.96
16,758.96
KZT1
40.99
40.99
LAK1
1.66
1.66
LBP1
9.24
9.24
LKR1
87.45
87.45
LRD1
97.49
97.49
LSL1
1,023.49
1,023.49
LYD1
10,272.48
10,272.48
MAD1
1,462.41
1,462.41
MDL1
826.68
826.68
MGA1
4.14
4.14
MKD1
262.62
262.62
MMK1
10.17
10.17
MNT1
5.76
5.76
MOP1
1,728.02
1,728.02
MRO1
39.23
39.23
MRU1
391.00
391.00
MUR1
397.46
397.46
MVR1
906.34
906.34
MWK1
19.06
19.06
MXN1
685.54
685.54
MYR1
3,487.30
3,487.30
MZN1
235.07
235.07
NAD1
1,023.49
1,023.49
NGN1
38.81
38.81
NIO1
441.04
441.04
NOK1
1,707.68
1,707.68
NPR1
128.23
128.23
NZD1
9,591.16
9,591.16
OMR1
36,279.80
36,279.80
PAB1
13,966.67
13,966.67
PEN1
4,258.09
4,258.09
PGK1
4,273.49
4,273.49
PHP1
261.97
261.97
PKR1
114.92
114.92
PLN1
3,746.32
3,746.32
PYG1
2.44
2.44
QAR1
3,835.94
3,835.94
RON1
3,460.71
3,460.71
RSD1
137.00
137.00
RUB1
219.61
219.61
RWF1
16.09
16.09
SAR1
3,723.85
3,723.85
SBD1
1,758.86
1,758.86
SCR1
1,030.44
1,030.44
SDG1
773.03
773.03
SEK1
1,572.81
1,572.81
SGD1
10,280.86
10,280.86
SHP1
18,398.09
18,398.09
SLL1
2.21
2.21
SOS1
24.10
24.10
SRD1
1,870.20
1,870.20
SSP1
107.21
107.21
STD1
0.65
0.65
STN1
659.27
659.27
SVC1
1,596.03
1,596.03
SYP1
27.12
27.12
SZL1
1,022.98
1,022.98
THB1
425.42
425.42
TJS1
1,533.55
1,533.55
TMT1
3,979.13
3,979.13
TND1
5,360.25
5,360.25
TOP1
6,098.63
6,098.63
TRY1
2,943.00
2,943.00
TTD1
2,072.02
2,072.02
TWD1
462.84
462.84
TZS1
6.13
6.13
UAH1
527.18
527.18
UGX1
3.60
3.60
USD1
13,966.67
13,966.67
UYU1
442.35
442.35
UZS1
1.76
1.76
VEF1
0.17
0.17
VND1
0.61
0.61
VUV1
129.48
129.48
WST1
5,412.53
5,412.53
XAF1
24.65
24.65
XAG1
227,920.01
227,920.01
XAU1
17,731,856.60
17,731,856.60
XCD1
5,167.96
5,167.96
XDR1
19,663.36
19,663.36
XOF1
24.65
24.65
XPD1
13,500,893.35
13,500,893.35
XPF1
135.50
135.50
XPT1
12,164,820.90
12,164,820.90
YER1
55.79
55.79
ZAR1
1,022.28
1,022.28
ZMW1
1,408.68
1,408.68
ZWL1
43.32
43.32
Taxation Exchange Rates
31 Aug 16 - 06 Sep 16
USD 1
13,232.00
AUD 1
10,043.30
CAD 1
10,213.70
DKK 1
1,999.40
HKD 1
1,706.22
MYR 1
3,283.28
NZD 1
9,623.63
NOK 1
1,605.23
GBP 1
17,433.70
SGD 1
9,757.68
SEK 1
1,569.45
CHF 1
13,631.10
JPY 100
13,101.00
MMK 1
11.01
INR 1
197.29
KWD 1
43,920.70
PKR 1
126.23
PHP 1
285.00
SAR 1
3,528.53
LKR 1
91.12
THB 1
382.08
BND 1
9,756.53
EUR 1
14,885.50
CNY 1
1,987.61

Okusi Associates: Indonesian Business & Management Services