The new letter of intent between IMF and Indonesia
The following is the complete text of the new Letter of Intent signed by the Indonesian government and the International Monetary Fund on Monday. The text and tables may be found on http://www.thejakartapost.com.
1. The government has strengthened implementation of the program set out in the Memoranda of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) of Jan. 20 and May 17, 2000. At the second review, the main achievements are (i) intensifying asset sales and debt restructurings by the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) and the Jakarta Initiative Task Force (JITF) under detailed quarterly targets; (ii) recapitalizing Bank BNI and advancing BRI's recapitalization; and (iii) adopting a detailed implementation plan for decentralization.
II. MACROECONOMIC POLICIES
2. The macroeconomic framework for 2000 is being maintained. Growth and price developments continue to be consistent with that framework. Although market sentiment turned unfavorable in recent months, we are confident that 3-4 percent growth and the other key macroeconomic targets for 2000 can still be broadly achieved.
The President has assured that there will be clarity and consistency in the implementation of the economic program, which are crucial to regaining market sentiment. Fiscal policy
3. Our efforts are directed toward fully implementing the fiscal year (FY) 2000 budget, and avoiding shortfalls in key social safety net and infrastructure spending and associated foreign financing. Revenues have been more buoyant because of higher oil prices and, were they to exceed the budget target, the excess will be used to reduce the budget deficit. All tax laws presently before Parliament are expected to be approved by end- July.
4. The delayed budgetary measures remain important for medium- term fiscal sustainability and we have taken the following decisions: (i) the value added tax on Batam island will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2001, giving sufficient time to prepare for effective implementation and to ensure that bona fide exporters are not affected; and (ii) the first adjustment under a medium-term program for petroleum prices will be implemented in October, supported by protection for poor consumers. Monetary and exchange rate policy
5. Bank Indonesia (BI)'s base money program is being maintained. As market confidence improves and risk premia fall, BI is confident that money market interest rates could be guided down. However, progress in this direction has been delayed by the recent weakness in the exchange rate, which required a temporary increase of interest rates. Meanwhile, the program floor on net international reserves has been raised as part of prudent monetary policy to strengthen market confidence, as well as reflecting more rapid reserve accumulation earlier in the year.
6. We are firmly committed to the exchange system underlying the financial program -- to a floating exchange rate and preservation of Indonesia's historically free capital account -- as enshrined in the law on foreign exchange management that was enacted in l999. Financing Issues
7. We are making progress toward implementing the restructuring agreement that was reached with official creditors on April 13, 2000. Thus, we have reached agreement with the bankers' steering committee to restructure the government's obligations to its commercial creditors of about US$346 million.
8. We are committed to delivering the policy framework underlying the budgetary support loans of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) and, thereby, avoiding shortfalls in their disbursements in FY 2000.
III. FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION
9. In implementing fiscal decentralization, we are determined to safeguard public service delivery, fiscal stability, and the governance of public spending, and are being assisted by advisors from the international community.
10. Our implementation plan anticipates that, during July- September, we will prepare a positive list of work units and activities to be transferred to each district/province and estimate the costs of the decentralized activities. We will also progressively finalize regulations on: (i) transfers of civil servants, assets, and spending to the districts; (ii) fiscal transfers and shared revenues required to finance transferred functions; (iii) guidelines for local government borrowing; (iv) accountability of local governments and financial management by adherence to budget process; and (v) financial information systems drawing on GFS (based on international - Ed.) guidelines.
11. We have agreed to the following safeguards to minimize the macroeconomic risks: (i) an adequate contingency provision will be included in the 2001 budget, and finalized in consultation with the IMF at the nest program review; (ii) specific regulations and rules will be established for regional government borrowing especially from banks, to ensure consistency with the macroeconomic framework; (iii) regulations will be established to ensure that the transferred personnel are paid from the shared and transferred revenue; and (iv) fiscal transfers to the local governments will be phased in line with the transferred functions.
12. To implement this complex program, we are making fully operational four working groups under the Coordinating Team (CT), and three secretariats to advise the Regional Autonomy Advisory Council (RAAC). Local governments have elected their own local government associations to represent their views to the central government and to the RAAC. The RAAC was made fully operational on July 21.
IV. BANKING SYSTEM REFORMS
13. We have adopted a new governance framework to ensure IBRA has the independence it needs to carry out its mandate. At the center of the framework is a new governing board, clearly separated from the political process, and composed of independent professionals. The board will make its first quarterly written report to the Financial Sector Policy Committee (FSPC) by Sept. 30. Attached to the Board will be an independent audit committee.
14. The rest of IBRA's institutional framework remains intact. in particular, IBRA will continue to report to the Ministry of Finance, while the FSPC will set the policy guidelines and approve sale and restructuring decisions over Rp 1 trillion (book value).
15. Meanwhile, IBRA is continuing to improve its transparency, as envisaged in previous Memorandums of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP). On June 30, the agency published the results of a comprehensive audit of its financial position, including those of its industrial and bank holdings, as of end-1999. This audit raised a number of accounting and other issues which IBRA will address in a time-bound action plan to be finalized in August, after consultation with the World Bank. IBRA's first comprehensive annual report will be released during the third quarter.
IBRA Asset Recovery and Restructurings
16. IBRA's focus is to drive asset sales and debt restructurings, return assets to the private sector quickly, and achieve budgetary collection targets. Toward this end, by end September, IBRA's new Board will approve a time-bound strategy for the disposition of all assets by its sunset date of end- February 2004. As part of this effort, international firms have been engaged to develop specific asset disposal strategies for all assets in the IBRA-controlled holding companies.
17. For FY 2000, IBRA announced on July 19, a quarterly schedule of asset sales procedures and projected cash collections, consistent with the budget target of Rp 18.9 trillion. Cash collections are estimated at over Rp 4 trillion during the April-June quarter, and projected at about Rp 7 trillion during the September quarter, and about Rp 8 trillion during the final quarter of FY 2000. These targets will be realized in the following ways.
Asset Management Credits (AMC) Operations
18. In FY 2000, the AMC aims to collect at least Rp 8.8 trillion in cash mainly by restructuring many of its largest loans, and selling them to investors or banks, and also by outsourcing and selling smaller loans, and by collecting debt service payments. Toward this end, the AMC aims at resolving the loans of its 21 largest obligers (comprising over 340 debtors with a book value of Rp 88 trillion) by end-2000. By end-June, 35 percent of the book value of these loans had been resolved, with term sheets having been finalized for 93 debtors and legal actions initiated against 16 debtors. By September, the ratio should rise to around 70 percent of the loans.
19. Regarding the AMC's smaller loans: (i) all commercial loans (Rp 5-50 billion) have now been outsourced to domestic and foreign institutions, with the aim of putting the entire restructured portfolio back in the banking system by September 2001; and (ii) all retail loans (under Rp 5 billion) will be sold under open tender by December 2000.
Asset Disposal Unit (ADU) Operations
20. The ADU aims to raise about Rp 7 trillion for FY 2000, by selling over 20 industrial and other assets, through transparent oral competitive bidding procedures. These assets include automotive, chemical, consumer and real estate-related concerns, all of which were acquired by the IBRA-controlled holding companies as part of settlements with bank shareholders. In all cases, IBRA's aim will be to sell majority control to the private sector. To ensure that the sales process goes smoothly, written commitments from the shareholders have been obtained and were publicized on July 19. International advisory firms have been engaged for virtually all enterprises scheduled for sale this year. In addition, all necessary legal actions have been taken to secure clear title over the assets to be sold.
Bank Restructuring Unit (BRU) Operations
21. The BRU expects to contribute about Rp 3 trillion to IBRA's asset recovery target in FY 2000. IBRA has announced a timetable to complete the privatization of Banks BCA and Niaga by December, and Parliamentary approval will be requested in August. IBRA also expects to sell (in cooperation with the owners) some of its shares in the private banks recapitalized with public assistance.
22. IBRA is also advancing the reprivatization of its other BTO banks, with the aim of fully completing the process by 2001. The legal merger of Bank Danamon with eight other BTO banks was completed on July 3, allowing the operational mergers to be completed by end-October. It remains our intention to prepare Bank Danamon for majority privatization in 2001. As for Bank Bali, an out-of-court settlement has been reached with the original owner, and the bank will be recapitalized in October, following a rights issue.
Asset Management Investments (AMI) Operations
23. IBRA is enhancing its control over the pledged assets and taking steps to preserve the value of the enterprises in the holding companies. A new compliance team has been established within AMI for this purpose -- to monitor individual enterprises and identify specific problems. Based on recommendations of the compliance team, IBRA's Board will adopt a corrective action program by end-August. This program will include, where necessary, changes in the management of the enterprises.
Actions Against Noncooperative Debtors and Shareholders
24. The government recognizes that the asset recovery targets require strong action be taken against all noncooperative debtors and shareholders. Toward this end, the interministerial Committee for Resolving the Cases of Recalcitrant Debtors was established on July 17. The committee will decide a coordinated strategy for all IBRA's problem cases, including prosecutions, using IBRA's special powers to take over debtors' assets, and imposing administrative sanctions (such as travel bans and disbarment from directorships).
25. IBRA is undertaking a comprehensive review of its legal powers, and related legal actions are planned to be taken as follows:
* The Attorney General has commenced legal action against noncooperating shareholders from four of the 1998 BTO/closed banks (Pelita, Deka, Centris and Istimarat), who have not reached agreement with IBRA. The cases will be brought to court during August.
* Shareholders of the 1999 BTO/closed banks who fail to complete negotiations by September will be referred to the Attorney General who will take legal action by October.
* IBRA will by September take legal actions against those shareholders who have not complied with their Master of Settlements and Acquisition Agreement (MSAA) or Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) agreements. Additional actions will be promptly taken in all cases where shareholders fail to complete their asset transfers consistent with their agreements.
* IBRA's AMC has filed legal actions against 16 noncooperative borrowers (total debt of over Rp 6 trillion) out of about 340 companies belonging to the top 21 obligors.
State Bank Restructuring
State Bank Governance
26. A monitoring and governance unit for the state-owned and recapitalized banks was made operational within the Ministry of Finance at end-June 2000. The key tasks of the unit are to conduct quarterly reviews of banks' compliance with their performance contracts, including business plans and performance targets; and to strengthen their management and governance structures to ensure highly transparent operations. The unit will closely monitor data on banks' financial activities, including detailed information on new credit commitments and loan restructurings. By end-August, the Ministry of Finance will also prepare proposals for the state banks to bring their governance in line with international best practices. The Ministry of Finance will ensure that the annual audits of state-owned banks are publicly tendered to international firms.
State bank restructuring and recapitalization
27. Bank Mandiri is implementing its business plan, closing unnecessary branches, and bringing virtually all of its assets and liabilities on-line by November 2000. The Ministry of Finance will work with Mandiri to develop by mid-August an appropriate strategy for reducing the bank's dependency on high-cost deposits. Meanwhile, to ensure that the bank's new policies for credit approval and risk management are executed efficiently, Mandiri plans to engage, by end-September 2000, experienced expatriate managers in senior positions and obtain institutional assistance in these areas.
28. Bank Indonesia is currently conducting an on-site examination of Mandiri, with a report expected in August. Any necessary corrective actions will be developed by end-September in close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. The government remains committed to beginning the bank's privatization in 2001, and a firm strategy for this purpose will be developed by December 2000.
29. Bank BNI's restructuring is also well underway. The second and final tranche of recapitalization bonds (Rp 32 trillion) was issued on July 3, after an international consulting firm verified that the bank has complied with its interim performance contract, and an international bank was engaged to assist in credit-risk management and loan workouts. A further review of the bank's performance will take place by October 2000, following the completion of BNI's June 2000 financial audit, after which the performance contract will be finalized.
30. Regarding Bank BRI, a new Management team was installed on July 18, 2000, allowing its restructuring efforts to move forward. The bank's business plan has been validated by the Restructuring Committee, an interim performance contract signed with the new management, and the first tranche of recapitalization bonds issued on July 25, for 70 percent of the bank's recapitalization needs. The second and final tranche of recapitalization bonds should be provided by end-October, upon verification of the bank's compliance with its interim performance contract, and implementation of a credit risk management function.
31. BRI's future role focuses on micro, retail, and small and medium (SME) businesses. A detailed business strategy, as well as a divestment plan from corporate activities, consistent with the May 17 MEFP, will be developed by September 2000. BRI has begun to divest its corporate loans, intending to reduce their stock to no more than 20 percent of its total portfolio by end 2000, and to no more than 18 percent by end-2001.
32. Regarding Bank BTN, a new management team was appointed in May 2000 and has prepared a business plan with its international advisors. The business plan -- refocusing the bank on mortgage lending -- has now been approved by the Restructuring Committee. The first tranche (70 percent of total) of its recapitalization was also approved by Parliament on July 21.
Supervisory and regulatory framework
33. Implementation of Bank Indonesia's master plan to strengthen the supervisory and regulatory framework for banks is well underway. A permanent supervisory presence is being established at each state bank and will be fully in place by August. The central bank is monitoring, on a quarterly basis, all banks' progress against their business plans, to ensure they bring their financial situation into line with prudential norms, (notably the 8 percent capital adequacy requirement) by end-2001. In the event of non-compliance, prompt corrective action will be taken in accordance with recently enacted criteria.
34. A detailed action plan to bring the supervision and regulatory framework up to international norms over the next two years, will be developed by September 2000. By the same date, a time-bound plan for bringing the supervisory, regulatory and governance structures of the pension and insurance industries, finance companies and capital markets into line with international standards will also be drawn up.
Bank Indonesia Audit
35. The publication in early July of BI's audited accounts for end-1999, as well as of international reserves data in line with the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standards, attest to the significant progress being made in improving the central bank's accounts. The earlier Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) disclaimer on Bl's 1999 audit has been removed, and BI's financial position at end-1999 has been clarified. By mid-August, BI will complete due diligence on all its subsidiaries and a plan for their divestment by December. BI has also submitted to BPK an interim June balance sheet. Over the coming months, BI will take further steps, including strengthening management information and internal control systems, to ensure that the reforms being implemented become firmly embedded in the governance culture of BI.
Debt Management and Bond Market Development
36. The government is giving high priority to establishing sound debt management practices and developing the domestic bond market. The units currently involved in debt management (including the Debt Management Unit, the Directorate of External Loans, and the Directorate of Subsidiary Loan Management) will work closely to consolidate existing debt management activities by end-December. In addition, by the same date, the government will submit to Parliament a draft act providing legal underpinnings for debt management, including standing authority for debt service, and authority for borrowing within the budget cycle.
37. This framework for public debt management, as well as the plans for bond market development, will be set out in a strategy paper by the Debt Management Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Bank Indonesia. This paper will be prepared for discussion in September and published in October. Preparations are being made to begin auctioning short-term government securities in the primary market by December (subject to Parliamentary approval), with the proceeds being used to retire some of the initial issues.
V. CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING, LEGAL REFORM, AND GOVERNANCE
38. Corporate restructuring is being carried forward by two principal institutions, IBRA and the Jakarta Initiative Task Force (JITF), supported by the coordinating and policy oversight role played by the FSPC. IBRA's agenda has been summarized above. The JITF's enhanced framework for its corporate debt restructuring efforts was put in place at the last review, as described in the May 17 MEFP.
39. The enhanced framework aims at delivering accelerated JITF-led restructurings. Between May 1 and July 15, the value of debt restructured under the JITF was $3 billion bringing the total of restructured debt to $5 billion. Provided a favorable macroeconomic situation can be maintained, and on the basis of the measures specified in paragraphs 42 and 43, the JITF expects that an additional $3-5 billion will be restructured by end- December. The strategic objective is to restructure a total of $12 billion of debt by April 2001.
40. Toward these ends, the JITF is building its structured mediation case load. This case load has risen from about $8 billion on May 1 to $10 billion (as of July 15); it is projected to increase to $15 billion by end-2000 (excluding restructured debt). The present case load includes referrals of eight cases by the FSPC to the JITF (with a total debt of $5.5 billion); further referrals will be made monthly. The objective is to ensure a cumulative total of at least 12 referrals by FSPC with a minimum debt value of $7.5 billion by end-September and a cumulative total of at least 17 referrals with a minimum debt of $10 billion by end-December.
41. The JITF's mediation schedules range from 3-6 months, depending on the complexity of the case. If the established schedule is not maintained because of debtor noncooperation, the JITF will send the case to the FSPC. The FSPC will promptly forward such noncooperation cases to the Attorney General for initiating bankruptcy proceedings and, if there is evidence of fraud, criminal investigations. Any forbearance granted by the Jakarta Stock Exchange with respect to the continued listing of a debtor will automatically be withdrawn upon a determination of noncooperation.
42. The ability of the JITF to meet these objectives will depend on the cooperation of the debtors and creditors and, in addition, the support of other governmental agencies and institutions. Weekly meetings between the FSPC, the JITF and IBRA are helping synchronize referrals to the JITF where IBRA is a minority creditor. On June 27, the FSPC issued a decree ensuring IBRA support for JITF-led restructurings agreed by a majority of private creditors.
43. The government is introducing additional and time-bound incentives for JITF-led restructuring. A decree will be issued, within four weeks of enactment of the new tax laws, providing immediate income tax relief with respect to (i) debt forgiveness; (ii) debt to asset settlements; and (iii) debt to equity swap. In addition, Bank Indonesia issued a decree on June 12 easing the divestment requirement for banks that hold equity in exchange for debt in the context of a restructuring. Finally, the Ministry of Finance intends to issue a decree by end-August which clarifies that, for the purpose of calculating the minimum financial ratios for regulated finance companies, certain types of subordinated debt instrument will be treated as equity.
44. The JITF will complete its first survey to assess progress in corporate restructuring by mid-August. Henceforth, such surveys will be done on a quarterly basis.
45. Regarding the Indonesian Debt Restructuring Agency (INDRA), in light of the stabilization that has been achieved, an exchange rate guarantee is no longer necessary. Accordingly, the registration period for INDRA has been terminated.
46. Progress is also being made to improve the functioning of the Commercial Court. The President has appointed a new slate of ad hoc judges to the Commercial Court and the government is working with the judiciary to ensure that they are promptly assigned to pending cases before the Commercial Court. As of July 20, 2000, ad hoc judges have been assigned to two cases filed by IBRA. As a means of enhancing the credibility and transparency of the Commercial Court, the government will be submitting a new law by mid-August that will, among other things, provide for the publication of dissenting opinions of judges sitting on the Commercial Court. In the interim, the Supreme Court has issued a regulation clarifying that ad hoc judges may issue dissenting opinions that will be published.
47. The government is also implementing a broader judicial reform strategy. As a result of a recently announced initiative, 70 percent of the judges sitting in Jakarta courts have been replaced as of mid-July, including a number of judges of the Commercial Court. Together with Parliament, the President is also taking measures to appoint well-regarded jurists to the Supreme Court, including a Chief Justice who will replace the retiring incumbent in August. The government is also preparing amendments to the Supreme Court law designed to enhance the credibility of this important institution.
48. Progress has been made on two key initiatives to address governance problems within the court system. First, the Joint Investigating Team (JIT) -- initially focused on court corruption and including well-respected individuals from civil society -- has become operational within the Attorney General's Office, and investigations are underway. It is expected that a number of cases will be referred to the JIT by the National Ombudsman Commission, an independent body that has been established to act upon complaints from the public regarding governance problems. In addition, Parliament has nominated, and the President will soon appoint, the members of the Commission for the Audit of State Of finials, many of whom are drawn from civil society. The Commission will become fully operational by end-August 2000.
49. Other steps being taken to address governance problems within the court system include the preparation of an Advocate's Law, to be submitted to Parliament in September, that will require all court advocates to be licensed. A condition for such licenses will be adherence to a uniform code of ethics.
VI. PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM AND GOVERNANCE
50. Public sector transparency and governance are being carried forward in the following key areas of the program.
51. A law providing for the oversight and audit of private foundations has been prepared, and has been sent to Parliament. We will be working closely with parliamentary leaders toward its passage by September.
52. We are making progress in identifying and integrating off- budget funds maintained by government ministries and agencies:
* The Reforestation Fund was fully transferred to a special state revenue account on July 4, and will be fully integrated in the 2001 budget.
* In response to a Presidential Decree issued in May, a number of ministries and agencies have reported the existence of off- budget funds, with a total asset value of about Rp 7.7 trillion (about US$ 860 million). The Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) will verify by Sept. 30 for these agencies whether there has been misreporting, by surveying government accounts in the banking system. Sanctions will be developed by that date and applied on all cases of misreporting. Those agencies not reporting existence of off-budget accounts will be audited by BPKP by Nov. 15, 2000, and sections applied in cases of misreporting.
53. The next stage of the exercise involves taking decisions about the integration of the remaining off-budget funds with the central government budget. This process will be led by the task force already established to improve treasury management and procedures, and their recommendations received by September. Any funds remaining outside the budgetary framework will be subject to regular audit by BPKP with quarterly reports to Parliament. The task force will also complete its work regarding the consolidation of the bank accounts of government agencies by the same date. On this basis, detailed recommendations for improving treasury management procedures will be implemented by December 2000. The investment funds will be integrated with the 2001 budget, and made subject to Parliamentary approval. In this way, we expect to establish full consistency between monetary and fiscal data by end-2000.
54. A number of key government agencies and enterprises are undergoing special performance audits, as envisaged in the May 17 MEFP. Thus:
* The audits of the KUT (credit for farmers) program and of the Tax Office have begun. In both cases, they will be completed during the last quarter of 2000, and corrective actions will be developed by December.
* BPKP has begun to use the information that has become available upon the completion of the review of the off-budget funds to ensure that its audits of all public institutions (including the military) in 2000 will take account of all extra- budgetary funding. The Minister of Defense has approved BPKP's audit of Defense Ministry operations. BPK has also begun examining the foundations of the military.
* The first quarterly reports on the implementation of corrective actions by the first group of public institutions undergoing special audits will be published by mid-August (the National Logistics Agency/Bulog, the state electricity firm PLN, the state oil company Pertamina, and the Reforestation Fund). BPKP is also undertaking a special audit of all transactions undertaken by Bulog in 2000.
* As previously agreed, the government is launching a second round of special audits, comprising the national airline, the national toll road company, the domestic telecommunications company, the largest public port corporations, and a state-owned plantation company. The audits will be carried out with the assistance of international experts.
55. The government is beginning work on a comprehensive reform strategy for the civil service, in consultation with the World Bank. Preliminary recommendations will be developed by the inter- ministerial task force (that is being led by the Minister of State Apparatus) by September 2000, ensuring that any future wage adjustments -- including any increase in October -- are closely linked to civil service reform in the context of decentralization. The plan will be finalized by end-2000, and its implementation will begin in 2001 with decentralization.
56. Privatization and state enterprise reform are moving ahead and the government is committed to majority divestiture on a case-by-case basis. The FY 2000 privatization program now includes a total of 19 enterprises, although a small number of the planned transactions may not be completed until early FY 2001. Included in the FY 2000 group are several enterprises that are to be totally privatized and a number of financial holding companies that will be liquidated. The process of privatizing the Soekarno-Hatta airport concession company is already far advanced, and the privatization of PT Pupuk Kaltim, PT Indofarma and PT Sucofindo will be formally launched in August.
57. A new medium-term State Owned Enterprise Reform Masterplan, prepared with technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (AsDB), was published on June 29. The government reaffirms its strong commitment to majority privatization of most state enterprises in the medium-term, to the early and full privatization of small and medium-sized enterprises that operate in competitive markets, and to the conduct of asset sales for enterprises that have no prospect of achieving commercial viability. Towards these ends, a Ministerial level Privatization Policy Committee will be established by Presidential decree by the end of August. During August, new guidelines and transparent procedures for handling different types of privatization will also be adopted through a Ministerial decree.
58. The government continues to give priority to the rapid restructuring and privatization of the telecommunications sector. By August, we plan to issue implementing regulations for the 1999 Telecommunication Law, as well as a new tariff policy, network inter-connection rules, model operator licenses, and a charter for the planned regulatory agency. The government remains committed to transforming Telkom and Indosat into competing full service providers and having these companies divest their stakes in all non-core businesses. Each company will divest its holdings in at least two such businesses by end-2000, and all noncore holdings will be divested by end-2001. An inter-ministerial team on telecommunications -- established on May 30 -- will prepare a detailed action plan by September to guide the development of the sector.
59. As part of a two-year restructuring program, assisted by the AsDB, 32 state enterprises have been identified to have their accounts audited by independent auditors by end-2000; this plan will be extended to a further 30 state enterprises in 2001.
60. The government remains strongly committed to the comprehensive legal and policy reforms for the energy sector outlined in the MEFP of January 2000. In particular, two new laws concerning Electric Power and Oil and Natural Gas will be submitted to Parliament during September. The Ministry of Mines and Energy has prepared medium term plans to phase out fuel subsidies and restore electricity tariffs to commercially viable levels.
61. Further progress has been made toward resolving the contractual disputes with independent power producers (IPPs). Following the conclusion of several interim agreements, efforts are now focused primarily on negotiating long-term solutions for those plants that are already in commercial operation or far- advanced in construction. In parallel, we are also working to negotiate agreements in respect of projects that have not reached financial closing.
VII. OTHER STRUCTURAL ISSUES
62. The government will shortly publish a regulation narrowing the list of sectors that are closed to foreign investment.
63. In agriculture, there are three principal policy initiatives underway:
* For rice, the import tariff level and the Bulog procurement price will be reassessed and adjusted in August, prior to the next crop season, after widespread consultations. At the same time, we are preparing to change Bulog's legal status to permit a more transparent accounting system and greater efficiency in the operating structure by September.
* In the sugar sector, cane farmers were supported for this crushing season with government funds to mills to purchase their cane. By end-September, however, we will announce a plan to increase the efficiency of the sugar industry by consolidating the large number of inefficient state-owned sugar factories on Java.
* As for KUT, from October, working capital for farmers will be extended only through commercial banks, which will make independent credit decisions and bear all repayment risk.