Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) met with leaders of principal national institutions at the State Palace here to discuss various national and global issues.

"Primarily, we discuss global issues related to the food, energy, and financial crises. We also share our views regarding our domestic (issues)," the president stated after the meeting, Friday.

Apart from discussing national and global issues, the president and leaders of national institutions also held discussion pertaining to the upcoming 77th anniversary of Indonesia's independence on August 17, Jokowi remarked.

"(The meeting) coincides with the moment, and we also discuss that matter," he stated.

In the economic sector, Jokowi stated that he discussed with national institutions leaders the Rp502 trillion (US$34.1 billion) subsidy potentially burdening the state budget.

"Can we continue to retain the Rp502 trillion subsidy? Praise be to God, if we can maintain (the subsidy), then it means that residents will not be burdened," he remarked.

The president then expressed concern that the commodity prices would surge if the government could not retain the subsidy for the people.

The government must spend the Rp502-trillion subsidy primarily to hold the vehicle fuel price, particularly subsidised fuels, to ensure the fuel price will remain affordable and not burden the people, he emphasized.

"Our subsidy is too large. Could you name other countries that subsidised their people up to Rp502 trillion? (This is) because we need to hold the Pertalite (RON 90 fuel), gas, electricity, and pertamax (RON 92 fuel) prices," Jokowi affirmed.

Attendees at the meeting comprised People's Consultative Assembly (MPR RI) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo, House of Representatives (DPR RI) Speaker Puan Maharani, and Regional Representatives Council (DPD RI) Speaker La Nyalla Mattalitti.

Constitutional Court Chief Justice Anwar Usman, Supreme Court Chief Justice M. Syarifuddin, Head of the Judiciary Commission (KY) Mukti Fajar Nur Dewata, and Head of the Financial Audit Board (BPK) Isma Yatun were also present at the meeting.

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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