Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri stated that the Indonesian government plans to set aside a total of IDR 10 trillion (USD $837 million) in the state budgets of 2014 as well as 2015 to support the poor people of Indonesia through social safety programs. This is yet another indication that prices of subsidized fuels will be raised before the end of the year. Recently, it has been increasingly speculated that Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) will raise these prices by IDR 3,000 (USD $0.25) per liter.
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Indonesian newspaper Investor Daily reported in today’s edition (11/09) that Joko Widodo (who will become Indonesia’s 7th president on 20 October 2014) plans to raise prices of subsidized fuel in November or December 2014. Reportedly, the price of gasoline (premium) will be raised by IDR 1,000 (USD $0.08) to IDR 7,500 (USD $0.64) per liter and the price of diesel (solar) by IDR 1,000 as well to become IDR 6,500 (USD $0.55) per liter. Meanwhile Widodo will enhance the social safety net to protect the poor.
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The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects that the country’s current account deficit will only ease slightly in 2014. Last year, the deficit reached 3.3 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP), a level which is generally considered unsustainable and leads to reduced investor confidence. Countries that have to cope with a wide current account deficit, such as Indonesia and India, are highly vulnerable in times of global shocks as investors will quickly withdraw their investments from assets in these countries.
Speculation has emerged that Indonesian President-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi) plans to raise prices of subsidized fuels immediately after taking office in late October 2014. On Tuesday (02 /09), Jokowi said that he sees no other option than to raise these prices in an effort to relieve the budget deficit, curb the wide current account deficit and make more funds available for long-term productive public investments (such as on infrastructure, healthcare and education). The government has set aside IDR 291.1 trillion (USD $25 billion) for fuel subsidies in 2015.
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