Increase in Indonesia's debt ratio relatively small: BKF

Increase in Indonesia's debt ratio relatively small: BKF

Head of the Fiscal Policy Office of the Finance Ministry, Febrio Kacaribu, speaking at a webinar on Monday (December 6, 2021). (ANTARA/Agatha Olivia/uyu)

Thus, our fiscal is very controlled.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the Fiscal Policy Office (BKF) of the Finance Ministry, Febrio Kacaribu, has said that the increase in Indonesia's debt ratio amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been relatively small compared to other countries.

"Our debt ratio only increased around 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) -- from around 30 percent of the GDP in 2019 to around 40 percent of the GDP in 2021," he noted at a webinar here on Monday.

In fact, the debt ratios of other countries surged higher than Indonesia's amid the pandemic, he said.

For instance, Argentina's debt ratio soared to 50 percent of its GDP, while China’s rose to 40 percent of its GDP, Kacaribu pointed out. Brazil and Turkey also experienced the same situation, he said.

Hence, Indonesia's current debt ratio is relatively safe, he remarked. In addition, there were no problems amid the pandemic as well as the previous years, he said.

The BKF head explained that Indonesia's debt ratio has always been safe because, since 2016, the state budget (APBN) deficit has always been less than 3 percent of the GDP. In fact, it has tended to be less than 2 percent of the GDP, he said.

"Thus, our fiscal is very controlled," he emphasized.

According to Kacaribu, Indonesia’s debt ratio is one of the lowest in the world, especially considering that Indonesia is the world’s 16th largest economy.

The average debt of developed countries in 2019 was already above 80 percent of their GDP, there were even some countries that had debt ratios above 100 percent of their GDP, he noted.

"It saves us amid the pandemic. When we face the pandemic, we are aware that the state must spend more for the people, thus we need to increase the deficit. Hence, our fiscal must be very strong and the APBN become a countercyclical instrument," Kacaribu said.

Hence, in the future, the government will strive to keep the budget deficit at 3 percent or less so that the nation's debt ratio remains stable, he informed. 

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