Tue, 13 May 2008
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia needs to form a special team whose job is to improve the national logistics system, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Boediono said here on Monday.

He said the job of the special team would be wider than that of the service and export acceleration team.

"In comparison with neighboring countries, the national logistics system in Indonesia is lagging far behind because of transportation and institutional problems, and inability to use sophisticated technology," Boediono said at a function to open a National Coordination Meeting on Transportation here.

Therefore, he said, the government should soon form a special team to improve the national logistics system.

He added that besides improving the logistics system, the government should also increase the infrastructure development budget which at present stood at 3 percent (of the overall budget amount).

"Latest developments have shown that after the crisis, the portion of the State Budget for infrastructure development dropped from 6 percent to 3 percent at present. Therefore, an economic growth rate of 6 percent to 7 percent is out of the question if the State Budget portion for infrastructure only ranges from 2 percent to 3 percent," Boediono said.

He admitted that the government`s funds for infrastructure development was limited but this sector remained a main priority because it was part of the social services for poor people.

Therefore, he added, one of the government`s efforts to increase the infrastructure budget was by raising its income from taxes and non-tax sources.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) chairman MS Hidayat said the rise in agriculture and mining commodity prices in the international market could not be enjoyed by Indonesia because lack of infrastructure facilities to support export activities.

According to him, the rise in domestic food prices was also influenced by the lack of infrastructure facilities which hampered goods distribution.

"Kadin will recommend that the government increase the infrastructure budget by 6 percent to 7 percent in an effort to support global development," Hidayat said.
(*)



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