Do Not Meddle in Garuda: Rini Soemarno

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  • Menteri BUMN, Rini M. Soemarno di halaman Istana Merdeka, Jakarta, 26 Oktober 2014. TEMPO/Subekti

    Menteri BUMN, Rini M. Soemarno di halaman Istana Merdeka, Jakarta, 26 Oktober 2014. TEMPO/Subekti

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta- State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno has indicated her objection to any other party meddling in the management of national flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia, apart from the chief economic minister.

    "Garuda is the responsibility of the coordinating minister for economic affairs. It does not concern the coordinating minister for maritime affairs. So parties other than the Ministry of Economic Affairs should not meddle in the airlines affairs," she said here on Thursday.

    Soemarno made the statement during a function when the State Audit Board handed over its auditing report for 2014 to her ministry at her office.

    Garuda is now in the process of business expansion and needs to be handled comprehensively, she pointed out.

    The newly appointed Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Resources Rizal Ramli had stated earlier that he had proposed to President Joko Widodo the cancelation of Garuda’s plan to purchase 30 Airbus 350s.

    Ramli explained that he did not want Garuda to go bankrupt again because the purchase of the planes would use foreign loans worth US$44.5 billion. The Airbus 350 aircraft is suitable only to serve routes to the United States or Europe.

    He also pointed out that Garuda’s load factor along its Jakarta-London international route reached only 30 percent, which caused the state company to suffer prolonged losses.

    Responding to the statement, Soemarno admitted that she did not hear it directly from Ramli.

    "What reason does he have to talk about it? What reason does he have to (want to) cancel it (the proposal)? I think one should not talk without reason," she remarked.

    The minister added that Garuda is a public company that should be responsible to the public at large.

    "Any measures taken that concern Garuda should have a reason behind their implementation. They cannot all be decided at once but should have a basis. We should not talk without a basis," she noted.