Indonesia's Sri Mulyani receives Best Minister Award at World Government Summit

Indonesia's Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati receiving the Best Minister Award from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of Dubai, on Feb 11, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Sunday (Feb 11) received the Best Minister Award at the World Government Summit held in Dubai.

The award is given to one government official each year to recognise his or her efforts in implementing successful reforms in their home countries.

Recipients are evaluated independantly by global consulting firm Ernst & Young.

It was presented to Dr Sri Mulyani by Dubai Emir Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.

Dr Sri Mulyani, 55, dedicated the award to all Indonesians and the 78,164 officers at the Ministry of Finance, whom she said had worked very hard to manage the state's finances with integrity and high commitment to equitable public welfare.

In a video message posted online on Sunday, she said the award recognises President Joko Widodo's leaderhip in Indonesia's financial and economic reforms since he took office in October 2014.

"Hopefully, this award will motivate the Indonesian government further, to do various reforms for the young generation facing a revolution in technology and a fast-changing world," she added.

The former World Bank managing director was appointed in July 2016 by President Joko to spearhead his economic reform agenda, including an overhaul of Indonesia's tax system.

Under her leadership at the Finance Ministry, Indonesia was able to tie up a relatively successful tax amnesty programme to boost tax revenue last year, as well as introduce policy reforms that push for inclusive and sustainable development.

In January, Dr Sri Mulyani said Indonesia will review its tax policy and look into incentives for investors to boost various industry sectors.

In Indonesia, where e-commerce is booming and the government is struggling to boost revenue, there's a special urgency for taxes. She also said there will be new regulations on the booming e-commerce sector in her country.

"The basic principle is that we will create a level playing field, the tax approach for e-commerce and conventional players will be the same," especially for value-added taxation, she added.

The award went to Senegal's Minister of Health and Social Action Awa Marie Coll-Seck last year and Australia's Federal environment minister Greg Hunt in 2016.

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