Sri Mulyani Asks the Regional Government to Evaluate the Quality of Infrastructure in the Regions, JAKARTA — Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani asked local governments to evaluate the quality of infrastructure development in their respective regions. This follows the arrival of President Joko Widodo to Lampung some time ago.

“The president is now down on his own to check the quality of roads in various parts of the region, there are many lessons for us,” he said during the 2023 National Coordination Meeting on Budget Implementation webinar, Wednesday (17/5/2023).

Sri Mulyani said that the number of damaged roads in the area made President Joko Widodo decide to take over infrastructure development projects. In fact, President Joko Widodo issued Presidential Instruction No. 3 of 2023 concerning the Acceleration of Increasing Regional Road Connectivity, as well as preparing a budget of IDR 32.7 trillion to repair damaged roads.

“The president himself saw for himself the damaged roads and even issued a road instruction,” he said.

According to Sri Mulyani, the birth of a presidential instruction should be a lesson for each region in the use of the budget. Sri Mulyani said that the local government not only regulates the use of the budget but also ensures the quality of regional spending.

“This should be a lesson in how the quality of our spending for development needs to be improved. We are ready to stand by with the regional government to optimize the people’s mandate, to better optimize the budget,” he said.

Sri Mulyani also asked ministries/agencies to spend creatively and innovatively, so they could create value for money or a budget that has a massive impact on the economy. This is to create more jobs and make the budget play a better purpose.

“In my opinion, the ways to do creative spending and create value for money are still very small in our bureaucracy,” he said.

He gave an example of one of the creative and innovative spending that can be done, namely managing the budget that has been allocated by the government and returning it in the form of funds or a bigger impact. The funds are returned not only to the state treasury, but to be rotated back so that they can generate greater benefits.

Thus, the budget re-circulation becomes one of the functions of the state revenue and expenditure budget as an instrument, so that it can carry out distribution, allocation, or stabilization when the economy is facing shocks such as during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sri Mulyani said creative and innovative spending by ministries/agencies needs to be done because the private sector usually doesn’t have the courage to enter several areas or fields that are considered high risk.

“So, maybe the government needs to step in first and then move its economic activities and the government can then start giving that space to the private sector,” he said.

Nevertheless, Sri Mulyani said that creative and innovative spending is a role that cannot be carried out by just one ministry/agency, so that it must be carried out by all ministries/agencies, even if it is possible for local governments to participate.

Sri Mulyani also thanked all ministries/agencies and local governments who will continue to innovate and be creative in managing the budget in terms of value for money.

“This is something that may need to continue to be used as an indicator of the quality of spending,” he said.


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