Indonesia President Joko tells new Cabinet to fix regulations, create jobs

Indonesian President Joko Widodo gave his new Cabinet a month to identify and revise government regulations that overlap and are overly complicated, and stressed that the biggest goal is to create jobs.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo gave his new Cabinet a month to identify and revise government regulations that overlap and are overly complicated, and stressed that the biggest goal is to create jobs.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday (Oct 24) ordered his new Cabinet members to simplify the country's regulatory framework within their first month in office, stressing that the new administration's priority is to create jobs in South-east Asia's biggest economy.

Mr Joko inaugurated ministers in his second-term Cabinet on Wednesday, half of whom are technocrats, while the other half have links to political parties.

Hosting his first meeting of the new Cabinet, Mr Joko said ministers should work as a team to identify central and regional government regulations that overlap and are overly complicated.

"Anything that hampers our services to the people, hampers investment by the business community, identify them within a month," Mr Joko said, ordering such regulations to be reviewed or removed.

"Our biggest goal... is to create jobs. This is needed and wanted by the people," he said.

The President also reminded ministers not to disagree in public, saying they were free to debate things within government meetings.

Despite Mr Joko's efforts since coming to power in 2014 to make it easier to start a business, investors still found it difficult to enter some sectors, he said in May.

On Wednesday, after swearing in the ministers, he ordered them to revise 74 laws by applying "omnibus laws", or legislation that encompasses diverse and unrelated issues.

Foreign direct investment into Indonesia has been sluggish in recent years because of factors such as regulatory uncertainty and weak commodity prices.

 
 

Mr Joko has complained the country has not attracted as much investment from manufacturers trying to move out of China compared with other South-east Asian countries.

Mr Joko kept several economic ministers from his first term in the new team, including Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and long-time ally Luhut Pandjaitan, who oversees maritime affairs, natural resources and investment.

Other appointments include the co-founder of start-up Gojek, Mr Nadiem Makarim, as education minister, and politician Airlangga Hartarto as chief economic affairs minister.