Lawmaker describes targets in draft state budget quite conservative

Lawmaker describes targets in draft state budget quite conservative

Legislator Mukhammad Misbakhun spoke to a seminar building tax awareness in Jakarta last month. (PHOTO: Special)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Leading law maker Mukhammad Misbakhun said he would support the government in bringing to reality a credible state budget for 2019 to maintain the national economic stability.

"Credibility is very important to maintain the market confidence in the state budget proposed by the government to be discussed with the House of Representatives," Misbakhun, who also known as an economic observer, said here on Sunday.

He was commenting on the draft state budget for 2019 and financial note presented by President Joko Widodo at a House plenary session on the eve of the National Independence Day commemoration of on Thursday.

The draft state budget sets a number of macro economic targets including:

economic growth at 5.3 percent,

inflation at 3.5 percent,

rupiah exchange rate at 14,400 per U.S. dollar

Indonesian crude price (ICP) at U.S.$70 per barrel

oil lifting at 750,000 barrels/day

3-month treasury securities interest averaging 5.3 percent

gas lifting at 1,250,000 barrel oil equivalent/day

A U.S. dollar was valued at Rp14,400 - higher than the target of Rp13,400 set in the 2018 state budget, and the budget deficit was set at 1.84 percent of the country`s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)- narrower than the target of 2.21 percent set for 2018.

"The draft state budget shows that the government is quite conservative despite an increase in the volume. I see it as a government`s commitment to continuing pro-people programs," he said.

The lawmaker of the Commission XI , said the government has to forestall the impact of economic turbulence in Turkey, trade war between world`s economic giants - China and the United States, and global uncertainties.

He said the seriousness of the government to continue with its infrastructure development program by allocating Rp420 trillion for program in 2019 deserves appreciation.

He said there was wider fiscal room for the government to carry on with infrastructure development.

The government seems set to carry out and fully complete its massive infrastructure program during its five year term under President Joko Widido ending next year, he said.

Misbakhun, however, said he appreciated the government for not pruning budget for pro-people programs, despite high prudence reflected by the targets set in the proposed state budget.

The government even more serious in carrying on with its pro-people programs which would be helpful in improving the economic welfare of the people, he said.

Opposition has widely criticized the Government`s infrastructure program as too ambitious forcing the government to use huge foreign debts.

Through the proposed state budget the government wants to increase fund aid for education such as for what are called BOS, Bidikmisi scholarship and LPDP, he said.

Through the programs the government showed its seriousness to increase the peoploe`s dignity and human development index and at the same time reducing poverty, he added.

"It is very obvious the continuity of pro-people direction of the government policy," he said.

Reporting by Riza Harahap
Editing by A Saragih, Eliswan Azly