Govt preparing options to overcome shortage of state revenues

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Finance Ministry is preparing several options to deal with the possibility of state revenues falling short of the target and to keep a deficit of the state budget at less than three percent.

To that end, the ministry will comb each of the existing budget items to optimize revenues and save spending in order to meet the target of budget deficit at less than 3 percent as the maximum limit pursuant to the state finance law, director of the ministrys state budget affairs, Kunta Wibawa said in a discussion at the Core Indonesia office here on Tuesday.

He said the ministry will make every effort to optimize sources of state revenues from tax arrears, collect tax due, non-tax state revenues at ministries and government institutions and oil and gas revenues, reduce non-ministerial/government institution spending.

"We have kept doing that until the last minutes. In essence, we are trying to keep the budget deficit at not more than 3 percent," he said.

He said the ministry continued to monitor state receipts to achieve the target of budget deficit.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has predicted that state revenues from tax receipts will fall Rp219 trillion short of the target this year.

To maintain the countrys fiscal credibility, the ministry has slashed budget allocations for ministries and government institutions by two-folds, as much as Rp50 trillion in April and Rp133 trillion in August this year.

In addition, the ministry also postponed the distribution of general allocation funds to 169 regions until 2017.

Meanwhile, the receipt of redemption money from the tax amnesty program will hopefully increase in September as September 30 is the deadline for the first phase of the amnesty program with redemption money as much as two percent.(*)