TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The new economic team of the Work Cabinet is positively welcomed by various circles. The Center for Economic Studies, Gadjah Mada University, Tony Prasetiantono, believes the economic ministers after Wednesday’s cabinet reshuffle could build a better economic foundation.
"The most interesting composition is the duet of two senior economists as coordinating minister," Tony said on Wednesday, August 12.
He said, the problem is the current economic downturn is influenced from outside Indonesia, so ”whoever the minister, the economic slowdown will still happen."
Tony warned the government not to rush aiming for self-sufficiency. Without a strong foundation, self-sufficiency as a measure of the improvement in the economy could lead to scarcity that triggered increase in commodity prices.
Executive Director of the Center For Taxation Analysis Justin Prastowo highlights the selection of Darmin Nasution as Coordinating Minister of Economy, replacing Sofyan Djalil, who shifted as the Head of National Development Planning Agency. According to him, Nasution’s experience as Director General of Taxation will help the government set priorities and how to levy tax revenues better.
Doubts arise against Thomas Lembong, who was appointed by President Joko Widodo as Trade Minister, replacing Rachmat Gobel. According to the Chairman of the Trade Commission of the House of Representatives Achmad Hafidz Tohir, Thomas’ experience has not been seen in the real sector.
Thomas has extensive experience an investment banker. As Minister of Commerce, Hafiz said, heavy challenges is facing such as rising prices of basic commodities, improving the trade balance, and reducing the inflation rate in the countryside. "I'm not ready," Thomas said when asked about his work program.
Another senior economist selected to handle the sluggish economy is Rizal Ramli. The former Finance Minister was appointed as Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs replacing Indroyono Susilo. Pramono Agung, a senior PDI-P politician, will stick to the President as Cabinet Secretary replacing Andi Widjajanto.
After sworn in on Wednesdat, Nasution revealed some agenda priorities. He will focus on anticipating water shortage due to drought, and to prevent the rise in beef prices and a surge in inflation. His next priority is fiscal management, particularly the management of receipts and expenditures of the State Budget.
Investment issues also concern the former Governor of Bank Indonesia. According to Nasution, the sluggish rupiah was caused by lack of capital inflows. Although not setting a target, he ensures the economy will grow in the third and fourth quarter.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Nasution was chosen to replace Sofyan to improve coordination between the economic team. On the doubts over Thomas, Kalla said, "People can learn."
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