Widodo Rejects House Aspiration Fund Proposal

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo has rejected the House of Representatives' proposal to include aspiration funds in the 2016 State Budget Draft. The proposal is considered contradictory to the nine priority programs set by Widodo's administration known as the Nawa Cita.

    National Development Planning Minister Andrinof A. Chaniago said that president also objects to the proposal as it is beyond the council's authority in determining the budget. The House, he said, is only authorized to conduct surveillance, while budget determination is an executive authority.

    In the near future, the government will officially submit the rejection.

    House factions in yesterday's plenary meeting proposed for an aspiration fund allocation of Rp11.2 trillion, to which Rp20 billion will be allotted for each DPR member. They argued that the budget is needed to build their electoral regions.

    Three factions, PDI-P, Hanura, and NasDem rejected the proposal. While Golkar, PKS, PKB, Gerindra, PPP, PAN and, and Democrat agreed to it.

    The Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) supports the rejection. In addition to violating the Law on State Finance governing budgetary authority, the budget could easily misused, Firta secretary general Yenny Sucipto said.

    There is also fear that the aspiration fund will create inequality. as it will be disbursed based on the number of House members in a region. A representative system would benefit densely populated areas as it will get more money than regions with fewer voters.