Sun, 08 Apr 2001

RI briefs IMF panel on central bank law

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian officials on Saturday briefed an International Monetary Fund's (IMF) panel on the necessity of amendments to the central bank law, stressing that it should not be a "conditionality" on the disbursement of the next tranche of IMF loans.

Attorney General Marzuki Darusman on Saturday evening told The Jakarta Post that he had just attended a meeting earlier in the day with the expert panel to brief them "on the need for change" in relation to the central bank law.

"We appealed to them that these measures were very important in the perception of the Indonesian public," he said.

Marzuki added that he also augured the team on the need to avoid a feeling that the IMF might be "an obstacle in good governance in Indonesia."

Deliberations at the House of Representatives on proposed amendments to Central Bank Law No 23/1999 was last month postponed pending the consultation with the IMF team.

The IMF has expressed concern over the draft amendments which may result in stripping away Bank Indonesia's independence, suggesting that political interference in the bank's monetary policies could jeopardize macroeconomic management.

Marzuki, who during the meeting with the four-man IMF team was accompanied was by Coordinating Minister for the Economy Rizal Ramli, underlined that the question of the amendments "must not be some sort of conditionality for the IMF to release funds."

The IMF expert panel team consists of former Chilean Central Bank governor Roberto Zahler, former New Zealand Central Bank governor Donald T. Brash, former Bank Indonesia director Boediono and Indonesian banking law expert Sutan Remy Syahdeni.

According to Marzuki this was the second meeting held since Thursday. (mds)