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Indonesia's new finance minister plans to cut fuel subsidy

Published on Apr 22, 2013 5:12 PM
 
Indonesian Chief Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa (left) speaks to a reporter beside his predecessor Agus Martowardojo after the handover ceremony at the Finance Ministry office in Jakarta on Monday, April 22, 2013. Mr Rajasa wants to cut hefty government fuel subsidies and avoid deepening the fiscal deficits in Southeast Asia's largest economy. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's acting finance minister said on Monday after being sworn in that he wants to cut hefty government fuel subsidies and avoid deepening the fiscal deficits in Southeast Asia's largest economy.

Chief Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa was given the additional role by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday. The appointment raised some concerns among the investment community over Mr Rajasa's lack of expertise in fiscal policy and it had sparked some selling on the Jakarta stock market.

Speaking at a news conference after being sworn in at the finance ministry, Mr Rajasa sought to allay those worries, saying he would maintain the pro-growth, low debt fiscal policies of his predecessor Agus Martowardojo, who will take over as head of the central bank in late May.

Mr Rajasa also alluded to the pressure the government is under to reduce its fuel subsidy, with political sensitivities heightened ahead of an election due next year.

 
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