Mon, 22 Dec 2003

Major events during IMF program:

1. October 1997: The government invites the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it cushion the economic impacts of the massive depreciation of the rupiah.

2. November 1997: The government closes down 16 troubled banks as part of the IMF's recipe to help cure the country's ailing economy. The move leads to massive runs on other banks as people rush to cash in their savings and deposits.

3. March 1998: The government increases fuel prices after reducing the fuel subsidy, which fuels public anger.

4. MAY 1998: President Soeharto steps down after 32 years in power, as security and the political uncertainty intensifies following the country's bloodiest riot. Vice president BJ Habibie takes over the presidency.

5. August 1999: Disclosure of the Bank Bali scandal, which ruins the chances of president BJ Habibie being reelected. Some US$70 million had been transferred from the bank to a private company controlled by a senior ruling Golkar Party official.

6. October 1999: Muslim cleric Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid is sworn in as the country's fourth president, replacing outgoing BJ Habibie.

7. February 2000: The IMF suspends a US$400 million loan disbursement, which further strains the relationship of the lending agency with the Gus Dur-led administration.

8. August 2002: Megawati Soekarnoputri replaces Gus Dur as the president, the fifth in the country.

9. July 2003: The Cabinet decides not to extend the IMF special program when it expires at the end of this year.