Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Delayed posting for the delayed package

I have been meaning to welcome the government policy packages recently announced. It was supposed to be "January Package" as promised before by Minister Budiono. But apparently it had to wait until early March to have it announced. Here is the policy package for investment climate improvement. It complements the earlier package for infrastructure policy and last year's "October Incentives".

Some comments on the investment climate improvement policy package. First off, it's not bad. It covers four important areas: 1) Custom and excises (the most troublesome, as far as investment climate is considered), 2) Taxes, 3) Manpower, and 4) Small and medium esterprises and cooperatives. The good things include, in no particular order: 1) Explicit mention of responsible ministries and time target (so they are at least qualified for anti-moral hazard verification), 2) Promise to streamline (and eliminate, if necessary) of problematic regulations that have been hindering investment, 3) Promotion of more flexible labor market, 4) Effort to clean the bureaucracy hurdles, especially in the MoF, 5) Simplification of visa and working permit issuance procedure.

Hope all these are not just promises. And it'd better be worth the wait.

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