Chief economic minister is disregarding small businesses: Legislator

Chief economic minister is disregarding small businesses: Legislator

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution announced the XVI Economic Policy Package at the Presidential Office, Presidential Palace Complex, Jakarta, Friday (Nov 16/2018). The government renewed three new policies in Economic Policy Package XVI, namely the expansion of recipients of tax holiday facilities (tax holidays), relaxation of negative investment list rules (DNI), and regulation of foreign exchange earnings from natural resource exports. ANTARA PHOTOS / Puspa

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - Legislator Maruarar Sirait of the Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) faction said that Chief Economic Minister Darmin Nasution`s policy is not in favor of small businesses and is against President Joko Widodo`s directives.

Sirait, who is also called Ara, made the statement in response to the revision of the Negative Investment List (DNI) and the Economic Policy Package XVI issued by the government.

"The issuance of the policy allows foreign investment (in certain areas so far closed to foreign investment) in Indonesia," Ara said in Jakarta on Friday.

He said that micro-, small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs (UMKM) should be protected so that they would be able to survive.

Moreover, (UMKM) safeguarded the Indonesian economy when Indonesia was hit by the economic crisis in 1998 when many big companies collapsed.

"The policy runs contrary to that of Jokowi (Joko Widodo). The chief economic minister should be consistent with Jokowi`s policy, which is pro UMKM," Ara said.

Ara asked that the policy should be withdrawn, because the economy should instead be encouraged to defend UMKM in the current situation.

"At present, Jokowi gives a lot of incentive support, but there are still policies such as this one. I ask that the minister should follow the President`s pro-UMKM policy," he said.

The government recently announced its plan to issue a policy to relax the 2016 DNI that will be carried out through the revision of Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 44 of 2017 concerning the list of business fields closed and business fields that are open with conditions to investment.

With the issuance of the XVI Economic Policy Package and revision of Perpres Number 44 of 2017, the government has decided to allow foreign investors to have full ownership in 25 business sectors in the DNI.

There were four business areas reserved for UMKMs and cooperatives in the 2016 DNI according to Presidential Regulation Number 44 of 2016.

The four business areas are the tuber peeling and cleaning industry; cloth printing industry; knitting industry, particularly embroidery; and internet service outlets.