Government focuses on three sectors, president says

Jakarta (Antara News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the government is focusing on alleviating poverty, developing the national economy and encouraging the nation`s self reliance.

"What we are doing and will do in the near future are to improve the people`s welfare, firstly, by alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment; and secondly, by restoring the national economy, particularly that related to efforts to attract investments and boost the real sector," the president said in his state-of-the-nation address marking the start of the year at the presidential palace here on Wednesday.

Of equal importance was to build the nation`s self reliance in the fields of economy, foreign policies and state defense which must be strengthened in the context of the globalized international relations, he said.

"The self-reliance means that we must not be dependent on other nations for our future," he added.

He said among the efforts the government would continue to make in 2007 would be extending direct cash allowance (BLT) to some 500,000 poor families in 348 sub districts in five districts in seven provinces, distributing subsidized rice for the poor (Raskin), providing school assistance (BOS) and free health services at public health service posts (Puskesmas) and hospitals, building low-cost houses for the people in the low income bracket, and giving micro-credits and rotating fund to cooperatives and small-scale businesses.

He added the government would also increase the welfare of civil servants and members of the Indonesian Military and Police.

On the economic development, he said the government would try hard to increase the economic growth to above 6 percent per year.

He said the economic growth in 2005 and 2006 came close to the pre-crisis level of 5.6 percent per year.

The president noted that nine serious obstacles had led to low investment inflows, including high lending rates, uncompetitive taxation system, lengthy procedure of lincencing investment proposals, lack of legal certainty and poor security.

The other obstacles were related to political stability, infrastructure, and contradictory bylaws, he added. (*)
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