Fri, 21 Mar 2003

RI expects IMF loan at the end of March

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Minister of Finance Boediono said on Thursday it was expected that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would disburse its next loan tranche at the end of this month.

"God Willing, (the loan will be disbursed) by the end of March," he said.

The IMF is expected to disburse some US$450 million to help strengthen the country's balance of payment. The disbursement is part of the $5 billion loan package promised by the IMF in 1999, of which the country has so far received $3.2 billion, in exchange for the implementation of a number of economic reform programs by the government.

The government on Wednesday sent to the IMF board of directors its latest Letter of Intent (LoI), which contains a set of reform programs and economic targets that it must implement within a certain period of time.

Boediono said that once the IMF board of directors approved the LoI, the disbursement would be issued within a couple of days.

He explained that the new LoI contained a report on the country's economic situation, particularly following the Oct. 12 Bali terrorist incident, which has badly affected the tourism sector and investment climate.

He said that the economy had been progressing with a relatively stable macroeconomic condition and was strengthening its foreign exchange reserves.

He said that the government would also continue to reform its judiciary, which many have said had been a major concern among investors, and would set up an anticorruption committee to help curb corruption.

Boediono explained that this year, the government would continue in its efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability and to improve its investment climate, particularly in its legal aspects and physical infrastructure.

He said that in the fiscal area, the government would sell its stake in Bank Danamon in April, and those in Bank Lippo in September.