As Indonesia's budget deficit may widen to 2.78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, the government is ready to seek USD $5 billion through multilateral loans and private placement. Scenaider Siahaan, Director for Strategy and Debt Portfolio at the Finance Ministry's Directorate General of Debt Management, said it involves standby loans that can be disbursed in the two weeks ahead if needed. The main reason why the budget deficit may be wider than expected is Indonesia's weaker-than-estimated tax revenue.
German government-owned development bank Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau (KfW) is one of the financial institutions that is ready to lend funds to Indonesia. Siahaan said the Indonesian government secured a USD $850 million standby loan from KfW.
Regarding private placement, about IDR 15 trillion (approx. USD $1.1 billion) can be generated from Badan Layan Umum (a government agency that provides public services) and the government's Budget Surplus Balance (Saldo Anggaran Lebih).
Whether Indonesia needs to use the standby loans and private placement in the next two weeks remains unknown. The 2.78 percent of GDP budget deficit - which is still within the legal limit of 3 percent of GDP - is based on tax revenue collection realization of 85 percent of the full-year target and government spending realization at 92 percent of this year's full-year target.
However, more pessimistic voices are heard saying that Indonesia's tax revenue realization may only reach 80 percent of the target this year, implying a shortfall of IDR 250 trillion (approx. USD $18.1 billion). Weak tax collection was the reason behind the recent resignation of Sigit Priadi Pramudito as Director General of Indonesia's Tax Office.
Yustinus Prastowo, Executive Director at the Center for Indonesia Taxation Analysis (CITA), said the possibility of a big tax shortfall in 2015 should be a valuable lesson for the Indonesian government, forcing the government to optimize tax revenue at the year-end. The government should also learn from this experience in order to avert a similar scenario next year. One important matter that needs to be improved is effectiveness of tax monitoring, Prastowo said.
Moreover, Prastowo said the government's tax amnesty bill (to be introduced for those who have parked Indonesian assets abroad) will not generate major tax income as long as the legal framework of this bill still needs discussion in parliament. Perhaps this bill can be introduced in mid-2016.
Indonesia's Tax Collection Target & Realization and Budget Deficit 2008-2016
(in IDR trillion)
(in IDR trillion)
(% of GDP)
¹ revised projection
Sources: Direktorat Jenderal Pajak & Nota Keuangan & Finance Ministry