Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called on city and district governments to increase the use of local products in their procurement as the current utilization stood at merely 41 percent.

"Regarding budget absorption and particularly the use of local products, it is still 41 percent. The use of local products is still 41 percent. However, 41 percent is still low, meaning that the rest are imported products," he remarked here on Wednesday.

Jokowi made the statement at the Inauguration of the Opening of the 2024 National Working Meeting XVI of the National Association of District Governments of Indonesia (APKASI) at the Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta.

The president urged district and city governments to utilize the budget carefully.

"It is very hard for us to collect money for state revenues, be it from taxes, non-tax state revenue (PNBP), royalties, or dividends," he highlighted.

Jokowi expressed disappointment if funds from state revenues transferred to regions are channeled to procure imported products that will instead benefit other countries.

"I need to remind you this. Buy our own products. I remind you, collecting the funds is very hard so we should use local products 100 percent for the procurement of goods and services," he remarked.

On that occasion, he also underlined that the last five years have been a challenging period.

In the health sector, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world globally. Apart from that, some wars caused fluctuations in oil and food prices. Meanwhile, in terms of the environment, heatwaves, El Nino and La Nina also occurred.

"These caused many things, such as health crisis, economic crisis, food crisis, financial crisis, and humanitarian (crisis). Nevertheless, we must be grateful that our country is able to survive the obstacles and challenges," he remarked.

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Translator: Rangga P, Yashinta D, Raka A
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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