Thu, 25 Mar 1999

Draft budget raised by Rp 70b

JAKARTA (JP): Jakarta's draft budget for the 1999/2000 fiscal year was raised by Rp 70 billion (US$7.86 million) to Rp 2.82 trillion because of an increase in the estimated contributions of fuel tax and the cancellation of a subsidy for the parking agency, an official said on Wednesday.

The head of the city's development planning board, Bambang Sungkono, said the revised figure might not be final because there was one more meeting to discuss the draft budget next Tuesday.

According to Bambang, the budget increase was decided on Wednesday by a special team assigned to formulate the city's draft budget. The team has held a series of discussions since March 15.

"The team believed there were a number of sectors which could contribute more to the city budget."

"The main sources of the draft budget's increase are the fuel tax, which is estimated to reach some Rp 30 billion, and some other taxes, as well as the cancellation of a subsidy for the city parking agency," Bambang said.

According to Bambang, the parking agency would be urged to increase its income so the administration would no longer have to subsidize its operations.

In the original 1999/2000 draft budget, the administration allocated some Rp 3.2 billion to subsidize the agency, whose income was estimated to reach "only" Rp 7.8 billion with a total expenditure of Rp 11 billion during the next fiscal year, which begins on April 1.

However, the decision was criticized by city councilors, who insisted the agency should become a source of revenue for the city.

In the new draft budget, the city's routine expenditure is increased to Rp 2.08 trillion from Rp 2.06 trillion, while its development expenditure is Rp 731 billion, up from Rp 683 billion.

If the City Council approves the draft budget, the 1999/2000 budget would increase by more than 61 percent over the current budget of Rp 1.75 trillion. (ind)