Sri Mulyani on the first day of the ASEAN Minister of Finance meeting in Chiang Rai Thailand. 4/5 2019

Indonesia once again became the world’s attention after one of Indonesia’s proudness ministers scored a hat trick or returned to being chosen as the best-achieving minister in the Asia Pacific for the third time, she was none other than Sri Mulyani Indrawati. For the third time, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati was again named the Best Minister of Finance in the Asia Pacific. In 2019, the finance magazine FinanceAsia again named the former IMF Managing Director the Best Minister of Finance in Asia-Pacific on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Previously, FinanceAsia had named Sri Mulyani as the best Minister of Finance in Asia Pacific in 2017 and 2018.

FinanceAsia assessed that Sri Mulyani had succeeded in bringing the Indonesian economy to a better direction, recording the lowest budget deficit in the past six years. In 2018, Indonesia’s budget deficit was recorded at only 1.76 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

Through the Tax Amnesty program launched in 2016-2017, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani also succeeded in increasing tax compliance (tax compliance), which ultimately succeeded in increasing tax revenues. With the Global Green Sukuk, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani also led Indonesia to become the first Asian country to sell green bonds, bonds used specifically to finance projects for climate and environment, which sold up to US $ 1.25 billion. In fact, amid the weakening of the exchange rate along with the trade war between the United States and China, Indonesia was also considered successful in maintaining the stability of the rupiah exchange rate.

Also Read: The Banker: Sri Mulyani was Able to Stabilize the Economy Amid Many Disasters in Indonesia

However, behind this brilliant achievement, there were also various criticisms, one of which was from the INDEF (Institute for Development of Economics and Finance) economist, Bhima Yudhistira appreciating the best Asia Pacific Minister of Finance award achieved by Sri Mulyani, but he considered the reason for the title to be criticized.

“So the first criteria for the state budget deficit has decreased consistently with claims from the giver. Only we can see the fact that the budget allocation changes have turned out to be not too ideal,” Bhima told detikFinance, Saturday (04/06/2019).

Bhima continued, why did the budget deficit go down? Because the government made efficiency in the event that something was cut ahead of the election, subsidies were raised again. On the other hand, because the budget deficit has narrowed, it has implications for the encouragement of government spending to subsidize the public budget

“Affecting people’s purchasing power. So there are consequences for our economy to only grow by five percent. Now this is the side of the note,” Bhima said.

Second, the budget deficit can be supported by a low budget with a considerable allocation to infrastructure, but the problem is that the increase is quite high, it is precisely expenditures that are consumptive in nature rather than infrastructure. The increase is quite high, it is in the expenditure of employees, then the expenditure of goods, and this shows that even though the budget deficit is smaller, the posture of the APBN becomes less productive.

Third, about the criteria of being able to maintain the rupiah exchange rate, even though in fact in 2018 the US dollar was Rp. 15,200. Now it can strengthen to Rp. 14,100 to Rp. 14,200 / US $ because Indonesia can provide interest above the Asia Pacific average of 8%.

“We are the highest 8%, which in my opinion must be proportional, too. We see that this is how we use expensive flowers. Our national budget may be controlled in the short term, but in the long run the 8% interest is the most expensive in the Asia Pacific “This debt interest can be dangerous for our state budget because our fiscal space is getting narrower in part to pay interest and principal debt repayments. Now this is what we understand that there is a risk too,” explained Bhima.

Fourth, the criteria for economic growth are considered to be well maintained. According to Bhima, the fact is that Indonesia is starting to lag with neighboring countries, one of which is Vietnam, which has a growth of more than 6%. then also the Philippines which is above 6%.

“What does this indicate? Signifying that with an economy the size of Indonesia we only grow 5% it is feared we will enter into the middle class trap, 2030 we will not be developed countries, so we will not advance before we reach the age of old. “Before the rich language is delicious. Now this is the consequence of us growing 5%,” said Bhima.

But from these criticisms, the fact that Sri Mulyani’s ability to manage state finances amid the turmoil of the world economy is currently hot, received world appreciation, and that was in 3 consecutive years.


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