...thus, there should be no new projects which are not completed by the end of the year (of the term of office) or by 2024...
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has directed his staff to maintain the 2023 State Budget (APBN) deficit below 3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has informed.

The President issued the directive while chairing a plenary cabinet meeting regarding the ‘Financial Note and the 2023 State Budget Plan’ at the State Palace, Jakarta, on Monday, she said.

"The President said that the state budget deficit must be below 3 percent and its sustainability must be maintained," she informed at a press conference held after the meeting.

To meet the target, the government will prioritize state spending, which can continue to support national priority projects.

The minister informed that the 2023 national priorities include strengthening human resources, developing infrastructure and the new national capital (IKN) Nusantara, as well as implementing the 2024 general elections.

In addition to the national priority programs, her ministry will use central and regional expenditure instruments to support several financing programs, such as the education endowment fund, which will become a legacy for future generations.

The state expenditure is also expected to serve as a shock absorber.

The total expenditure of ministries and state institutions in 2023 is projected to be about Rp993 trillion (US$66.29 billion), Indrawati noted.

"Prior, the President instructed to complete the (development) projects -- thus, there should be no new projects which are not completed by the end of the year (of the term of office) or by 2024 -- and to support the (general) election process," she added.

The government is continuing to strive to suppress the APBN deficit, which reached Rp947.70 trillion (US$63.27 billion), or equivalent to 6.14 percent of the GDP, in 2020.

The figure was brought down to Rp783.7 trillion (US$52.32 billion) in 2021, or equivalent to 4.65 percent of the GDP.

At the beginning of July 2022, the minister had said that the government is optimistic that the total state budget deficit can be maintained at 3.92 percent of the GDP in 2022.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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