Tue, 18 Sep 2001

Ary Suta still IBRA's chief

JAKARTA (JP): I Putu Gede Ary Suta remains chairman of the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) in the new structure under the management of the state ministry for state enterprises, the state minister said.

"Right now we have no thoughts of replacing the chairman of IBRA," Laksamana Sukardi said on Monday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony transferring the responsibility for overseeing IBRA from the Ministry of Finance to the State Ministry of State Enterprises.

Aside from IBRA, Minister of Finance Boediono also handed over responsibility for state-owned enterprises to Laksamana. The ceremony was witnessed by Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti.

"We first want to see how we well we work together in achieving the government's targets," Laksamana told reporters.

The government expects to receive Rp 6.5 trillion (about US$714.3 million) and Rp 27 trillion in proceeds respectively from the privatization of state enterprises and the sale of assets under IBRA, to cover the 2001 state budget deficit of 3.7 percent of GDP.

Next year, the two sources of funds are expected to raise Rp 6.5 trillion and Rp 35.3 trillion respectively for the 2002 state budget deficit of 2.5 percent of GDP.

In a separate ceremony held immediately after the first, Laksamana appointed a secretary for the state minister and one of the planned five deputies to work under him, including an IBRA chairman.

Laksamana appointed Bacelius Ruru as the ministry's secretary and Muwardi P. Simatupang as the ministry's deputy for state enterprises.

Bacelius, who is also chairman of the Jakarta Initiative Task Force (JITF), said that not all the officials were appointed at once, as President Megawati Soekarnoputri needed to assess carefully the candidates.

He confirmed that Ary Suta would not be replaced.

In light of the recent terrorist attacks on the United States, the government would need to revise its targets and methodology for the privatization of state enterprises, Laksamana said.

"The recent drastic developments in external economies has forced us to reassess the appetites of investors," he said, explaining that the government would need to reassess its target investors, whether to go for global "Wall Street" investors or turn to regional investors.

Laksamana also said that the government should reassess the methodology for the divestment of shares in state companies, whether by a placing with strategic investors, or through the stock market..(tnt)