Economic crisis currently hitting the United States and Europe has resulted in mixed perspectives in the mind of the government. In the verbal domain, the government combines self-confidence with anxiety. Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo, for instance, said that national economy would remain stable up to the third quarter of this year with the growth rate minimally equivalent to the first and second quarters, namely 6.5%. Simultaneously, the government also claimed that it has prepared mitigating measures as anticipation. Principally, there is self confidence and worry.
Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa recently said that the government and Bank Indonesia would continue to be wary off the latest economic condition and the worst scenario potential to arise there from even though national economy remains solid and safe. Hatta even said that the crisis preventive and mitigating instruments owned by Indonesia now are better than 2008.
However, the government simultaneously asks all parties to be wary off and anticipate global economic uncertainties. Prudential domestic economic management is any of the measures to prevent the crisis from expanding. The wariness and anticipation of the government may be observed in policy to provide crisis mitigation funds amounting to Rp 103.1 trillion in APBN-P 2011, distributed in items, such as fiscal risk funds and stabilization of budget price of social assistance, PNPM Mandiri, PKH, Jamkesmas, natural disaster, food and rice subsidy for the poor, management and supervision in financial industry, capital market and things naturally preserving prudence so that economy is still preserved well and buyback of state bond (SBN) as well as application of crisis protocol management.
Principally, the statement of the government related to threats and anticipation to economic crisis hitting the United States and Europe leads to an opinion that though the crisis does not influence significantly, the government won’t be silent but wary off of the threat by preparing measures.
For the public in the country, the really convincing explanation from the government reflects anticipatory measures deserving appreciation. In relations thereto, the public or the whole people reserve a right to remain optimistic that the government and all authorities thereof could preserve national economy. However, it’s important to remind that the most important thing is not only strategy and measure prepared by the government in anticipating the threat of the crisis but the government must also be capable of understanding properly why the United States and Europe plug into the crisis.
For Indonesia, the crisis currently jolting the United States and Europe spews a fundamental thing that the crisis should be observed as a bad consequence of the rapid growth of debts above Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the other word, the issue encountering Europe may be called as economic disaster triggered by excessive debt. In this side, Indonesia may be categorized safe because debt to service ratio is only 25%. However, such a view may not be preserved in a long time because debt is still debt. In a simple language, we may say that hand above is indeed always better than hand below.
Therefore, it is necessary to observe three issues. Firstly, it’s important to ensure that every action already prepared by the government is applicable if national economy is unable to evade from the crisis. Here, we talk about the application of strategy, not plan in words “would” and “would”. Secondly, opinions of experts outside the government should also become reference in policy making. Economists remind that the ongoing crisis is more devastating than the 2008 one. Thirdly, the government relying on image building politics so far should not be trapped in excessive self-confidence.