Ni Komang Erviani , Contributor, The Jakarta Post , Thu, 11/27/2008 11:07 AM | Bali
The Bali provincial administration plans to spend its 2009 budget of Rp 1.6 trillion (US$133.3 million) fast, in a bid to boost spending and counter the effects of the global financial crisis.
“Half of the money will be used to finance development projects, with the rest to pay the salaries of the administration’s employees,” Governor Made Mangku Pastika said during a meeting with 37 members of the Bali chapter of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) in Denpasar on Tuesday.
He said by speeding up budget spending, the administration hoped to reduce the effect of the crisis on Bali’s economy.
“We have to use the money currently available, even if it’s not much, to keep our economy alive,” he said, adding that he hoped the funds would be ready to distribute by January next year.
Pastika said the recent developments in the global financial crisis were worrying because Bali’s tourism industry was already experiencing cancellations from tourists, and decline was forecast for the handicraft industry because of weakening international buying power.
“We have to pray that Bali’s economy will not be shaken up too much,” he said.
He said he hoped businesspeople would increase their working efficiency so they would be ready to face the crisis.
Bali Kadin chairman Gde Wiratha said he hoped the government could ensure banks keep giving loans to businesspeople because the private sector played a pivotal role in plugging the budget gap.
“To reach the target growth of 6 percent in 2009, Bali needs at least Rp 22 trillion, while the combined budget of all nine regency and municipal administrations in the province will only add up to an estimated Rp 8 trillion. The private sector can actually fill in the difference,” Wiratha said.
He said he welcomed the provincial administration’s plan to move forward 2009 budget spending, saying it would help the Bali real sector to survive.