Facts about Indonesia’s Sri Mulyani Indrawati

FACTBOX – Facts about Indonesia’s Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Wed, Mar 3 01:21 PM

Sri Mulyani Indrawati

The role of Indonesia’s reformist finance minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, in the bailout of a small bank will be debated by parliament on Wednesday following months of hearings by a committee.

A committee probing the 2008 bailout of Bank Century on Tuesday handed two conflicting recommendations to parliament. One found the bailout was justified, the other called for a criminal investigation into Indrawati and Vice President Boediono.

Here are five facts about Indrawati:

* Indrawati, 47, ranks among the most powerful women in the region and is one of the few Indonesian policymakers with an international profile.

* As finance minister, she has cleaned up the corrupt tax and customs departments by introducing more transparent practices, firing those caught taking bribes, and even springing surprise raids on staff to keep them honest.

Her policy of increasing tax collection to boost state revenues has earned her many enemies among the business elite who are now under pressure to pay up — particularly after the tax office published a list of the 100 top tax dodgers which included a coal firm controlled by tycoon and politician Aburizal Bakrie.

* During her time as finance minister, Southeast Asa’s largest economy has become a member of the Group of 20 leading economies and is one of the fastest growing ones in the region, partly thanks to the combination of sound economic policies and a more stable political situation.

Fitch upgraded Indonesia’s sovereign credit rating to one notch below investment grade in January. It is expected to achieve the coveted investment grade within a couple of years and join Brazil, Russia, India and China — the BRICs — as a member of the emerging market elite.

* On the downside, she has been less successful in going after some of the Suharto-era figures facing accusations of corruption, and has met resistance from less reform-minded cabinet colleagues and coalition politicians, particularly Bakrie, the tycoon who heads the Golkar Party.

Her decision to rescue Bank Century in 2008 in order to avert a wider financial crisis was the subject of a highly politicised parliamentary inquiry that has now handed its recommendations to the house of parliament.

* She got her doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois, lectured at Georgia University on Indonesia’s economy, and was an executive director of the International Monetary Fund representing 12 economies in Southeast Asia from 2002-2004.

(Reporting by Sara Webb and Sunanda Creagh; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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2 responses to this post.

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