President reminds regional governments to utilize APBD funds soon

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has reminded the provincial governments to immediately spend the Regional Budget (APBD) funds in productive areas rather than keeping them as deposits in banks.

"I remind the regional governments to immediately spend the money from the APBD. We painstakingly collect this huge amount of budget and then transfer it to the regions to be spent and not to be kept as deposits in banks," President Jokowi remarked in his speech to close the consultative meeting on the national development plan 2016 at the State Palace here on Wednesday.

Jokowi noted that at the end of April, he found that some Rp220 trillion of budget funds were still stored in the Regional Development Banks in some provinces.

At the event also attended by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Jokowi stated that in accordance with the plan, the regional funds, which were merely lying idle in regional banks, would be converted into bonds.

"If the huge APBD is spent properly in some provinces, the effects will be far-reaching. However, I do not want to mention which provinces as it will create a controversy," the president emphasized.

He urged the regional governments to invest the budget funds in productive activities and not solely for the construction of buildings, official travel, work visits, purchase of official cars, furniture, and other related areas.

"It is a mistake whose instances should be reduced and eliminated, and the budget must be spent immediately in productive areas, which will boost economic growth. If the funds are not utilized optimally, I will later announce in which provinces it occurred," he affirmed.

The president pointed out that at the end of December 2015, APBD funds worth Rp90 trillion were lying as deposits in banks, but at the end of April 2016, the amount increased to Rp220 trillion.

Source: Antara News