Update News September 05, 2017

In The News

Tax revenues Rp685 trillion until August this year
ANTARA News  05 September 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Taxation Directorate General (DJP) said cumulative tax revenues in the first 8 months of this year reached Rp686 trillion or around 53.5 percent of the target of Rp1,283 trillion set in the 2017 state budget. 

"The tax revenues were around 10.23 percent larger than recorded in the same period last year," Director of Services and Public Relations of the DJP, Hestu Yoga Saksama said here on Monday. 

The tax revenues until August this year included Rp378 trillion from non-oil/gas income tax, Rp267 trillion in value added tax and Luxury sales tax, Rp1.2 trillion in land and building tax (PBB), Rp4.3 trillion in other taxes and Rp35 trillion in oil and gas income tax. 

"Land and building tax in the first 8 months last year reached Rp15 trillion. There was change in regulation that that PBB would be received in September, 2017. There is no problem," Hestu Yoga said.

He said tax revenue in August alone totaled Rp85 trillion or around 3 percent lower than Rp87 trillion in the same month last year. 

"It is necessary to keep in mind , last year there was revenues under the tax amnesty program of almost Rp5 trillion in August, and PBB for August this year around Rp10 trillion have not yet received," he said.

He said the biggest challenge in tax collection in the remaining time of this year is additional revenues from tax amnesty, adding,". DJP is still to work extra hard until the end of the year."

Tax payers are expected to be more compliant and thos not taking part in the tax amnesty program are called on to pay their tax obligations, he said.(*)

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Sri Mulyani Says Govt Ability to Repay Debts Getting Better
TEMPO.CO 05 September 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani says that the government’s ability to repay its debts is getting better over time. She said that the government is pushing for tax reform and to attract more investors in Indonesian capital market to reach the target.

“We are carrying out reform to increase revenue to fund development and repay debts,” Sri Mulyani said yesterday in Jakarta.

Debt amortization without issuing new debts is more beneficial than debt write off scheme, according to her. So far, the government could not yet pay off debts using revenues from taxes. The government relies on domestic debts to make up the state budget deficit of 2.67 percent.

Rupiah-denominated bonds dominate financing for development at 58.4 percent or Rp2,206.1 trillion of the total debts this year of Rp3,780 trillion. Debt to GDP ratio currently stands at 28 percent.

Sri Mulyani said that the government is indebted mostly to institutions, banks and individuals. The government is striving to improve the financial market to attract locals to invest in the government bonds.

The Financial System Stability Committee has entered into repo transactions to obtain additional financing from the secondary market. “The Finance Ministry has also prepared shorter tenor bonds to attract more diverse buyers,” Sri Mulyani said.

Sri Mulyani said that the average time to maturity of Indonesian government debt continues to fall, standing at 9 years as of 2016.

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Jawa 4 Power Plant to Begin Operations in 2021
TEMPO.CO 05 September 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - State-owned electricity company PT PLN expects that coal-fired power plant (PLTU) Jawa 4 to begin operations in May and September 2021. The power plant with a capacity of 2 x 1000 MW is being built in Jepara Regency, Central Java.

“PLTU Jawa 4 is expected to contribute in improving the interconnected power system in Java and Bali and will be connected to a 500 KV transmission line in Tanjung Jati-Tx Ungaran,” Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan told a press conference yesterday.

Jonan broke ground on PLTU Jawa 4 project on August 31. He confirmed that the power plant will enhance power supply to consumers and industries. “The PLTU project is part of the accelerated power plant development program with a total capacity of 35,000 MW.”

He explained that the government and PT PLN are aiming to establish 109 power plants, including PLTU Jawa 4. The project is signed under an independent power producer (IPP) scheme on 77.4 hectares of land. The construction phase is expected to be completed in 50-54 months, starting in April.

Tempo learned that PLTU Jawa 4 will adopt the latest ultra-supercritical (USC) technology that operates above the critical pressures and temperatures for water. The system creates equilibrium between gas and liquid, resulting in higher efficiency.

A power plant with USC technology is 8-10 percent more efficient compared to other coal-based power plants. Another advantage is it will need less coal consumption and create lower gas emission, making it more environmentally friendly.

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Stop talking politics, start investing: Jokowi to businesspeople
The Jakarta Post 04 September 2017

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has advised businesspeople to not talk about politics and to instead concentrate on improving the economy through investment.

“I always tell businesspeople to not talk about politics. Just talk about the economy,” said Jokowi as reported by kontan.co.id on Monday.

Jokowi said he would hold a road show to meet with businesspeople in a number of cities in September to encourage them to invest.

“What else? They only need to disburse money to expand and pursue opportunities. Why should they continue to have a wait-and-see attitude?” he added.

Speaking about people’s low purchasing power, Jokowi said 70 percent of the country’s funds was in the hands of the private sector, while the state budget only shared 30 percent.

“If they want to invest, purchasing power will increase,” the President added.

He, however, said the government would help improve people’s purchasing power by disbursing assistance to 10 million low-income people.

He also mentioned the government’s assistance to 19 million students through the Indonesia Smart Card (KIP), which would also be disbursed next year.

The government will also increase village funds to Rp 60 trillion (US$4.49 billion) next year from Rp 20 trillion.  (bbn)

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Indonesia Boosts Promotion of Digital Tourism
TEMPO.CO 05 September 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said his institution will enhance tourism promotion by utilizing digital media.

"Tourism promotion is still weak. We have several beautiful tourism destinations, which is proven by the fact that they are ranked among the top 20. Moreover, the price is competitive," Yahya noted on Monday.

The "Wonderful Indonesia" brand is also ranked 47 in the world, surpassing "Truly Asia Malaysia" and "Amazing Thailand."

The ministry will focus on promoting tourism through the digital media by increasing the budget.

"We will increase the budget to 50 percent for digital promotion, from the previous 30 percent," Yahya said.

He added that at least 70 percent of the total tourists use digital media to search tourism destinations and share their experiences.

Yahya said his ministry believes that the target to attract 20 million foreign tourists could be achieved in 2019.

The tourist arrivals in August 2017 had reached 1.35 million. Yahya believes the target to draw 15 million foreign tourists annually to Indonesia can be achieved.

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Foreign Tourist Visit Up 21.57% in July
TEMPO.CO 05 September 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded an increase in foreign tourist arrivals. In the month of July, international arrivals to Indonesia rose 21.57 percent compared to June.

On an annual basis, the number of foreign tourist visits rose 30.85 percent to 1.35 million visits from July 2016's 1.03 million.

BPS chief Suhariyanto said that the sharpest increase was recorded occurred at Adi Sucipto Airport, Yogyakarta with 107.23 percent; followed by Adi Sumarmo Airport in Surakarta with an increase of 79.39 percent.

From the 1.35 million foreign visits, 1.14 million arrived in 19 main gateways.

The biggest tourist influx came from China (PRC) with 214,500 visits, followed by Australia with 117,600 visits, Singapore 109,200, Malaysia 94,400 visits and Japan 48,700 visits.

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August Deflation at 0.07%, BPS Says
TEMPO.CO 04 September 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta- The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded a deflation in August 2017. The deflation rate is 0.07 percent, higher than August 2016's 0.02-percent deflation. 

On a monthly basis, this is an improvement since July was recorded to experience a 0.22-percent rate of inflation.

From January to August 2017, the year-to-date inflation rate is 2.53 percent. The year-on-year inflation rate from August 2016 to August 2017 is 3.82 percent.

According to the BPS, the deflation occurred due to price declines as indicated by the decrease in some expenses group indexes such as food by 0.67 percent as well as transportation, communication and financial services by 0.60 percent.

Expenditure index groups that posted increases are processed food, beverages, cigarettes, and tobacco (0.26 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel (0.10 percent); clothes and apparels (0.32 percent); health and medicine (0.20 percent); and education, recreation and sports (0.89 percent).

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Pertamax consumption up 73 percent in E Java
ANTARA News 05 September 2017

Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA News) - Non-subsidized fuel Pertamax consumption in East Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara jumped 73 percent in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year, state oil and gas firm Pertamina said.

"Until the first semester of 2017, Pertamax consumption reached 688.150 kiloliters, up 73 percent from 397,437 kiloliters in the same period last year," General Manager of Pertamina Region V, Herman M Zaini stated here on Monday.

The increase in Pertamax consumption suggested that motorists have increasingly become aware of quality fuel, he noted.

"Pertamina will always make efforts to meet the market demand by raising the supply of Pertamax in gasoline stations so that non-subsidized fuel consumption will increase in the years to come," he remarked.

To mark the National Customer Day which falls on Sept 4, PT Pertamina Region V chose a lucky customer to fill his motorcycle with Pertamax free of charge.

"The program reflects Pertaminas commitment to always improve the quality of its products and services to consumers in a sustainable manner. We appreciate all sides, particularly consumers who have given support and put trust in Pertamina products, particularly Pertamax," he revealed.(*)

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City aiming for 60 percent of commuters using public transportation
The Jakarta Post 04 September 2017

With a stubbornly low percentage of residents using public transportation, the Jakarta Transportation Agency has set an ambitious target of 60 percent of journeys in the capital being made on public transportation.

Agency head Andri Yansyah said that with the ongoing efforts his agency had been making so far, he was confident the 60 percent target of people using public transportation when travelling in and around the capital could be reached.

“It currently stands at 20 percent, there is still a lot of work we need to do,” he said as quoted by beritajakarta.id on Monday during a focus-group discussion on Tanah Abang’s transportation revitalization in Central Jakarta, an area known for its chaotic traffic.

He did not elaborate on when the deadline of the target was.

He said the ongoing construction of public transportation, as well as continued efforts to improve the Transjakarta service, was expected to encourage more people to shift from private vehicles to using public transportation services.

The capital, notorious for its traffic gridlock, is currently constructing an MRT and light rail transit (LRT), which are expected to begin commercial operation in 2019.

A recently introduced regulation, which has drawn criticism from experts and daily commuters, would also bar motorcyclists from using the city’s main thoroughfares, in what officials claim is an effort to more orderly manage the traffic in the city. (fac)

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FM Retno Calls on Myanmar Army to Stop Violence against Rohingya
TEMPO.CO 05 September 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has called on Myanmar military commander-in-chief Senior General U Min Aung Hlaing to stop violence against the Rohingyas.

“The efforts to de-escalate the situation in Rakhine State shall be the main priority for Myanmar’s security authorities,” FM Retno said in a written statement received by Tempo on Monday.

Read: President Jokowi All-Out in Helping Rohingya

At a meeting with Myanmar authorities yesterday, Retno expressed Indonesia and the international community’s concerns over the latest situation in the Rakhine State. Acts of violence have resulted in a humanitarian crisis, leading to death, injuries and population displacement.

“Myanmar security authorities must stop committing any kinds of violence in Rakhine State and provide protection to all people including Muslims,” Retno said.

Some 400 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people have been fleeing to Bangladesh borders as a result of Rakhine crisis in the past couple of weeks. Hundreds of houses have also been destroyed after clashes between Myanmar military forces and the Rohingya rebels.

Therefore, Retno said, Indonesia and other countries will be sending relief aid to Rakhine. That includes humanitarian relief, rehabilitation process and inclusive rebuilding. However, the government could yet to send more relief aid because local authorities have not opened the access.

Indonesia is currently building a hospital in Marauk U, Rakhine State, and provides health services, education, economy and capacity building, including those initiated by the AKIM (the Indonesian Humanitarian Alliance for Myanmar). She is hopeful that access to the country could be reopened to allow more help.

At the end of the meeting, PM Retno also expected the relations between Myanmar authorities and Bangladesh to be maintained despite the Rohingya crisis.

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