Director of Strategy and Portfolio of the Finance Ministry Scenaider Siahaan said debts are needed by the government to finance priority projects such as infrastructure projects and human recourse development. In a discussion held by Indonesian Association of Alumnus of Indonesian University (Iluni) in Jakarta, on Tuesday, Scenaider delay of priority projects could result in higher cost of implementation in the future. He said the government spending is for improvement in productivity and quality of the people through investment in human resources, health facility and education.

"Now many people have been free from illiteracy that the quality of human resources has improved," Scenaider said.

He said improved quality of the people would be result in higher productivity that contribute to economic growth.

"In turn it would increase tax revenues that could be used to repay the debts. We think the present tax revenues are safe and would be healthier ahead," Scenaider said.

Based on official record of the Finance Ministry, the government debts by the end of February 2018 reached Rp4,034.8 trillion or 29.2 percent of the country`s GDP. The debts included Rp3,257.26 trillion in state bonds (80.73 percent) and Rp777.54 trillion in loans (19 percent).

"In the past, the main sources were loan, now is state securities as loans have limitations that could not meet our requirements in development," Scenaider added. ( antara ) 


Indonesia is targeting the third position in the global footwear industry, by improving its current position as the fourth country after China, India, and Vietnam.

"This year, we are targeting to enter the big three, supported by government interventions and ease of doing business," Industry Ministry`s Small and Medium Industries for Fashion and Crafts director, E. Ratna Utarianingrum, stated during a Makers Talk held at the Prasetya Mulya University, South Tangerang, on Tuesday. According to her, 86 percent of the footwear in the world is produced by Asian countries, where China takes 80 percent of the total production, while the other 6 percent is produced by India, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

"Our market share is 3.3 percent globally," she remarked.

However, the total production of footwear in Indonesia differs slightly from Vietnam, which is at the third position. Indonesia`s footwear production has reached 1.1 billion pairs per year, of which 800 million pairs are for domestic use and the rest for export, with main destinations including Europe and the United States. Meanwhile, the total production of footwear in Vietnam has reached 1.2 billion pairs per year, and most of it is exported to various countries.

In addition to its superiority in terms of the total production, Vietnam is also benefited by its closer geographical position to China, which allows its easy access to the export market. Indonesia will continue to increase its capacity in footwear industry, from the design, management, and distribution, in order to be able to compete with Vietnam.

Through the Indonesian Footwear Industry Development Center (BPIPI) at the ministry, the government seeks to increase the skills of national shoe craftsmen, whose alumni have reached eight thousand people since its establishment in 2009. In addition to recognizing new shoe entrepreneurs, the center also provides coaching program for crafters to run their business and tackle various problems, Utarianingrum added.( antara ) 


Chairman of People’s Consultative Assembly, Zulkifli Hasan attended taking oath ceremony of the new chairman of Constitutional Court, Anwar Usman in Jakarta, on Monday (2/4). Zulkifli Hasan told the press that he believed Anwar Usman is able to conduct his duty well. According to Zulkifli, the heaviest challenge of the chairman is to settle disputes of regional head election 2018 and presidential election 2019 which needs fair decision-making.


“Challenges, off course, there is regional head election, presidential election. We give support, for the success. We pray and I believe he is able to conduct his duty well,” Zulkifli Hasan said.


Anwar Usman was elected as chairman of constitutional court for 2018-2020 period replacing Arief Hidayat through voting by nine constitutional judges. All constitutional judges, except Arief Hidayat, have rights to be elected and to elect, namely Anwar Usman, Maria Farida, Wahiduddin Adams, Aswanto, I Gede Pasek Palguna, Suhartoyo, Manahan Sitompul, and Saldi Isra. (KBRN/RIZKI/TRANS YATI/NITA)


The Agriculture Ministry has allocated Rp20 trillion (US$1.45 billion) for the development of post-harvest infrastructure to be managed by four state-owned enterprises in the food sector in order to absorb the farmers` production. Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman noted after a closed-door meeting on modernization of the rice industry in Jakarta on Tuesday that synergy among four state enterprises -- PT Pertani (Persero), PT Sang Hyang Seri (Persero), PT Pupuk Indonesia Pangan, and PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia (Persero) -- is expected to cut short the supply chain of rice for farmers and reduce the price at the consumer level.

"Our aim is to accelerate the post-harvest process. We will focus on the provision of dryers, combine harvesters, rice milling units, and packaging units. Thus, farmers will be able to get a better price," Amran noted.

The four companies have been tasked with absorbing the farmers` unhusked rice in production areas in a bid to cut short the supply chain and lower the price. The development of post-harvest infrastructure will accelerate the process of absorbing rice, especially for state-owned enterprises that do not have the necessary infrastructure. President Director of PT Sang Hyang Seri Syaiful Bahri welcomed the plan to build post-harvest infrastructure worth Rp20 trillion.

"The meeting focused on the development of infrastructure, and it was in line with our needs, as we do not have the rice milling equipment, but we have dryers and warehouses," Syaiful explained.

However, further management of the post-harvest infrastructure will still be discussed with the Finance Ministry.

"The minister has agreed to authorize its management to state-owned enterprises in the food sector, but not to all of them. At least, Pertani or SHS (Sang Hyang Seri)," he remarked. ( antara )