Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government said its has been able to keep its indebtedness in a safe position, despite an increase in outstanding debt.

The governments outstanding debts rose to Rp2,371.39 trillion by the end of 2013 from Rp1,590.66 trillion by the end of 2009.

Chief spokesman of the finance ministry Yudi Pramadi in a news release issued here on Friday attributed the increase in outstanding debts to rupiah fall against major foreign currencies especially the US dollar.

A big part of the government debts are in foreign exchanges.

Yudi said almost all countries in the world have debts, adding debts are used to finance productive activities such as infrastructure development.

He said the government uses debts depending on the state budget deficit, which may not be wider than 3 percent of the countrys Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and debts may not exceed 60 percent of the GDP.

The deficit of the state budget in 2010 was 0.73 percent , widening to 1.14 percent in 2011 and to 1.86 percent in 2012. In 2013 the deficit was estimated to widen to 2.24 percent but in 2014 the deficit target was set at 1.7 percent of the GDP

The state budget deficits were relatively low as confirmed by a number of rating agencies, Yudi said.

Fitch, for example, underlined the governments strict discipline in fiscal management, and Moodys said the government fiscal is strong in line with the debt burden being low and deficit being under control.

Yudi said the government debt ratio to GDP was around 26 percent by the end of 2013 with GDP at Rp9,112.4 trillion that year, down from 28.3 percent by the end of 2009.

The debt ratio to GDP was well below the maximum limit set by the State Finance Law or the standard of Maastricht Treaty of 60 persen of the GDP.

It was also much lower than the debt ratios of many other countries such as Japans 243 percent and the United States 106 percent, Thailands 47 percent , Malaysias 57 percent and the Philippines 41 percent.

The outstanding debt of the government per capita was around Rp8.6 million in 2013 , up from Rp6.8 million in 2009, but in dollar term the per capita debt in 2013 was lower or only around US$707.5.

The per capita debt was relatively small compared with the per capita debts of many other countries such as Japans US$101,765 ; the United States US$53,378 ; Thailands US$2,514; Malaysias US$5,539 and the Philippines US$1,081.

"The governments debt ratios are still within a safe limit, guaranteeing fiscal sustainability," Yuid said.

The fiscal policies including management of state deficit and other government policies, resulted in expansion of the countrys economic capacity as shown in the GDP expansion from Rp5,613.4 trillion in 2009 to Rp9,112.4 trillion in 2013, and the increase in per capita income from Rp23,927,460.7 in 2009 to Rp36,697,846.4 in 2013 (outlook).

"This also shows growing capacity of the countrys economy to repay its debts without sacrificing fiscal sustainability," he said.


Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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