Sri Mulyani’s Answer Criticized on National Debt: It’s Good

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —

Minister of Finance (Minister of Finance) Sri Mulyani Indrawati admitted that she was happy that many parties were highlighting the management of state finances, including: debt.

He said the spotlight and criticism proved that the public had a sense of ownership and concern for the state’s financial condition.

“Now everyone is taking care of debt, everyone is talking about it. So it’s good. We have ownership on state finances,” said Sri Mulyani in a book review event Across Three Multidimensional Crisis, Sunday (24/10).

Sri Mulyani said it was progress. This is because the public has never been able to pay attention to state finances before.

“Today, many people see very detailed state finances, I am very happy. In 1997, 1998, no one saw the state budget.
In 2008 there was none,” he said.

For information, based on data from Bank Indonesia, Indonesia’s foreign debt as of August 2021 reached US$423.5 billion or Rp.5,957 trillion (exchange rate of Rp.14,066 per US dollar) in August 2021, or grew 2.7 percent year on year. yo).

The debt growth was higher when compared to July 2021 which was only 1.7 percent (yoy). BI stated that the increase in debt growth was caused by an increase in the growth of public sector external debt (Government and Central Bank).

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BI detailed the external debt was collected by two parties. First, the government.

The position of the Government’s external debt as of August 2021 reached US$207.5 billion. It grew 3.7 percent yoy.

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Second, the private sector was recorded at US$206.8 billion.

In addition, recently Indonesia is also said to have hidden debts of US $ 17.28 billion or Rp. 245.37 trillion (assuming an exchange rate of Rp. 14,200 per US dollar) to China.

The existence of this debt can be seen from a report from the research institute AidData entitled ‘Banking on the Belt and Road: Insight from a new global dataset of 13,427 chinese development projects’.

The hidden debt that China gives to Indonesia is not recorded in government institutions. The reason is, the debt is not channeled through the government, but state companies or state-owned enterprises.

Apart from state-owned enterprises, debt is also channeled through state-owned banks and private companies.

“This debt largely doesn’t show up on government balance sheets,” explains AidData.

The debt had sparked criticism from a number of circles, one of which was senior economist Faisal Basri. Faisal criticized the government’s debt management so far as being too wasteful and ineffective in leveraging economic performance.

This he said can be seen from the rapid development of debt in the Jokowi era. In the midst of this rapid development, the economy only grew in the range of 5 percent.

(yul / agt)


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