Altering Ministries Costs Billions

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Andi Widjojanto, deputy of the Transition Team for president-elect Joko Widodo, said changing the nomenclature of one ministry would cost Rp80 billion to Rp120 billion. The huge cost is because such changes would not only affect the ministries involved. "The cost of it large because [the changes] also influence local governments," he told reporters at the Transition House in Jakarta, Tuesday.

    Andi said that alterations of nomenclature would force local governments to adjust the nomenclatures of their respective offices.

    Moreover, Andi said, nomenclature changes will have impacts on the programs of local governments. "We cannot just eliminate ministries or directorate generals suddenly, because each still has the responsibility to plan budgets until December."

    On Monday, president-elect Joko Widodo announced 34 ministries that will be under his administration. Jokowi removes the post of deputy ministers, except in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Jokowi decided to keep three coordinating ministries while merging and changing the nomenclatures of several ministries.

    Agriculture Minister Suswono supports Jokowi's policy to merge the Ministry of Agriculture with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, which will become the Ministry of Food Sovereignty. "Whatever is in the context of efficiency, we must support it," Suswono said, citing efficiencies can reduce budget.

    However, secretary general of the Industry Ministry, Ansari Bukhary, said that unifying the Industry Ministry and the Trade Ministry has more disadvantages than benefits. According to Ansari, four problems will come from the merge. First, the industrial sector will not be handled properly. Secondly, the ministry will take a long time to set up its organization and human resources.

    Third, there will be an additional fee for logo and letterhead changes. And the fourth is the adjustment of basic tasks because employees cannot be reduced. "The only benefit is to have one institution that handles industrial and trade policies."