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30 taxpayers contribute 31.6 percent of tax revenue

Thursday, 14 Mar 2019
30 taxpayers contribute 31.6 percent of tax revenue
The Directorate General of Taxation in Jakarta (kontan.co.id/File)

Sibolga blasts show JAD still threat
The Jakarta Post, headline
An explosion rocked a neighborhood in Sibolga, North Sumatra, early Wednesday morning after the wife of a suspected terrorist, Abu Hamzah,  detonated a bomb at their residence, killing herself and her 2-year-old son. The blast occurred as the police were negotiating with the woman, identified asSolimah, encouraging her to surrender. Her husband Husein, also known as Abu Hamzah, is suspected of being affiliated with the outlawed, homegrown pro-Islamic State (IS) terrorist group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD). He was arrested after the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism squad received a tip from another terror suspect, identified as Ro, in Lampung last weekend. Another suspect was arrested after Ro and two additional suspected terrorists were detained in Sibolga.
According to Kumar Ramakrishna, a counterterrorism expert and head of policy studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, the incident in Sibolga showed that JAD remained a threat despite the crackdown. “More than that, the incident shows the continued spread of violent extremist ideology, likely associated with [IS],” he told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. “Although key JAD leaders have been arrested, the decentralized nature of the network means other leaders can emerge.”
Abu Hamzah’s network under close watch
Kompas, headline
Following a bomb explosion in Sibolga, North Sumatra, the National Police are monitoring the movements of individual terrorist suspects in a number of regions, including those belonging to Abu Hamzah’s network. After Hamzah’s arrest on March 12, the police have been sifting through explosives possibly hidden in his house. So far, the police have found 30 kilograms of explosives as well as four bombs ready to be detonated in and around Hamzah’s home.
Hamzah’s wife blasted a bomb following the arrest of her husband. The bomb, which killed her and her 2-year-old son, was detonated while the police were persuading her to surrender.
Following the explosion, the police have stepped up vigilance in particular areas such as Sumatra (Riau, Lampung and North Sumatra), Kalimantan (West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan), Sulawesi (South Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi) and Java. “These areas are pretty vulnerable [to terrorist attacks] and need to be monitored. We have been monitoring them all,” said police spokesperson Brig. Gen Dedi Prasetyo. He said members of the homegrown pro-Islamic State (IS) terror group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) lived there. Hamzah himself is a suspect as JAD’s regional coordinator.
Indonesia to send team to Ethiopia
Republika, headline
The Transportation Ministry said it would send a team to Ethiopia to join an investigation into the cause of Ethiopian Airlines’ flight ET-302 crash, which killed all 157 people on board, including an Indonesian national. The initiative is deemed necessary on account of similarities between the accident on Sunday and that of Indonesia’s Lion Air JT610 last October. Both ill-fated flights, for one, used Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
“We’ll send investigators from the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) and the Transportation Ministry to Addis Ababa to support the investigation of the crash,” said the ministry’s air transportation director general, Polana B. Pramesti. Throughout next week, the government will conduct a special audit on Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by Indonesian airlines Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia. All the American-made aircraft are currently grounded following the crash in Ethiopia.
Jokowi woos voters with pre-employment card
The Jakarta Post, p. 1
As part of his reelection campaign, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has promised to issue pre-employment cards with the primary aim of aiding job seekers by granting them access to training, a move that experts say might offer a solution to the country’s long-standing problem of skilled worker scarcity in the job market.
Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin campaign team spokesperson Mukhamad Misbakhun said the card would guarantee its holders access to vocational training and certification, which would better equip them with the skills demanded in the labor market, or provide them with the necessary skills to build businesses. As many as 2 million people would receive the card and two months of training starting next year, he said, adding that job seekers who were Indonesian and aged 15 or above would be eligible for the program. He, however, stressed that the holders would receive limited financial benefits that would be cut off after they secured jobs. “For job seekers, they will be given incentives until they can secure jobs; the incentives will be given for a maximum 12-month period,” said Misbakhun. “For those looking for jobs after being terminated from their previous workplaces, there will be financial incentives during the training period, plus a maximum three-month period after finishing the training.”
Govt deemed as failing to evaluate education system
Koran Tempo
Lack of adequate evaluation is deemed one of the underlying problems plaguing the national education system. Education observer fromCenter of Education Regulation and Development Analysis Indra Charismiadji said many education programs failed because the government’s evaluation did not work. “While the old programs have remained unevaluated, [the government] develops new programs,” he said. Inadequate evaluation often led to other problems, such as budget inefficiency. The government spends big on teachers’ salaries but forgets to invest in educational innovation.  Other serious problems, according to Indra, include the low quality of education and curriculum and dropout rates, which remain high.
Indonesia ranked 62 out of 70 country participants in a regular survey conducted byProgram for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015. As if to add insult to injury, UNESCO revealed that only one in 1,000 Indonesian students had an avid reading interest.

Trade Ministry fails to resolve import problems
Bisnis Indonesia, frontpage 
Failure to resolve food import problems in the country indicates weakness in the management of the country’s trade sector by the Trade Ministry.
That weakness reflects in the ministry’s inability to resolve problems identified by the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK). None of the 19 recommendations for improvement made by the BPK in the period of 2014 to 2018 have been followed.
The audit agency’s report last year stated that the ministry also ignored a proposal from the Agriculture Ministry to cancel a plan to issue permits for the import of 1.3 million tons of rice.
In addition to that, the Trade Ministry did not adequately supervise and assess salt imports, resulting in a sharp increase in the import of consumption salt. This has seriously hurt local salt farmers.
30 taxpayers contribute 31.6 percent of tax revenue
Investor Daily, headline
The government still relies heavily on big individual and corporate taxpayers to achieve its tax revenue target.
Thirty big taxpayers – 24 companies and six individuals – received appreciation awards from the Finance Ministry on Wednesday. They contributed Rp 418.7 trillion (US$29.35 billion) or 31.6 percent of the total tax revenue of Rp 1,316 trillion in 2018.  
The six individuals are prominent Indonesian businessmen Rachmat Theodore Permadi (founder of the Triputra Group), Arifin Panigoro (owner of Medco Group), Alexander Tedja (president commissioner of Pakuwon Group), Budi Purnomo Hadisurjo (founder of Optik Melawai), Garibaldi Thohir (president director of Adaro Energy) and Eddy Kusnadi Sariaatmadja (founder of PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk).
The 24 big corporate taxpayers getting the award include state-owned enterprises, mining companiesand other big corporations.
The Finance Ministry bestowed the awards on the big taxpayers not merely in recognition of the taxes they paid, but also for their compliance as well as their support for the tax office’s tax compliance programs.

Industry 4.0 roadmap may push up imports 
Bisnis Indonesia, p.3
Indonesia’s aim to achieve higher economic growth through its recently launched Making Indonesia 4.0 roadmap may exacerbate the country’s trade deficit.
National Development Planning Minister Bambang P. S. Brodjonegoro said that, if successful, the roadmap could boost Indonesia’s real economy by an additional 1 to 2 percentage points, lifting annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth to between 6 and 7 percent in the 2018-2030 period.
However, should the country be unable to keep up with technological progress, it would remain a market for technology imports, which could further widen the trade deficit.
Indef economist Bhima Yudhistirasaidthat, to prepare the nation for technological development, the country needed to increase expenditure on research and development (R&D). “The minimum R&D expenditure for Indonesia is Rp 296 trillion (US$20.75 billion) if the GDP is Rp 14,837 trillion,” he added.
Gov’t to expand taxpayer base
Kontan, p.2
Indonesia’s tax ratio is the second-lowest in Southeast Asia at only 10-11 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). However, the ratio has been increasing since last year.
The Finance Ministry’s Directorate General of Taxation has been busying itself with efforts to raise tax compliance, from sending out reminders to taxpayers to implementing an online reporting system called e-filing and e-billing.
In addition to that, the directorate general also works together with companies, the Education and Culture Ministry and the Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry to educate employees and students on tax awareness.
The Directorate General of Taxation received 12.5 million annual tax return forms last year, a significant increase from only 9.8 million reports in the preceding five years. Up until March 13, 2019, the office has received 5.5 million tax returns, 90 percent of which were submitted through the e-filing system.