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#54160 - 19 Jun 07 17:52 JP/The yoke of indirectness in the new economic package
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Pujangga Besar

Registered: 24 Apr 08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Jakarta
The yoke of indirectness in the new economic package

B. Herry-Priyono, Jakarta

Affliction is the mother of inflated expectation. When reality fails to match expectation, it has to pay the toll of disenchantment. Perhaps this is what happened in the lukewarm reception of the long-awaited package of new economic policy reforms unveiled on June 12.

There are four areas of concern addressed by the package -- the financial, investment, infrastructure development and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) sectors. In all this, the package is expected to inject a dose of incentives into the current inertia. That is laudable.

In the investment sector, for instance, the time required for obtaining business licenses will be reduced from the current 97 days to 25 days.

In the SMEs sector, easier access to bank loans, land certification for collateral and to the services of local financial consultants is expected to boost the growth of these enterprises.

As has been regularly rehearsed, all this is supposed to accelerate growth so as to reduce unemployment and poverty.

The virtue of the new package lies not in any major policy breakthroughs -- let alone in making a more direct approach to poverty reduction -- but rather in making a statement of intent to break the bureaucratic bottleneck rampant in the Indonesian economy. This is laudable, even if it is too incremental to bring any significant impacts. But to say that the new package is too incremental to have a significant impact is a form of platitude.

In policy-making circles there is a peculiar tendency for what may be called "roundabout logic". It is a policy approach whose logic of problem solving, instead of going directly to the target, contains a string of layered-upon-layered indirect measures.

Of course, the issue is not as simple as it first appears. Policy mandarins are doing the work of societal coordination. Sometimes they need to pass policies through roundabout routes by treating society as a vast hydraulic network; i.e., to change something at one end of the network by changing things at the other end.

But in urgent matters such as SMEs and poverty, this "roundabout logic" is likely to fail. Why? The indirectness involved in the roundabout route makes the initial agenda easily lost in the morass of indirectness. If the new package is intended to inject a dose of incentives, it is likely to fail not because the incentives have turned into disincentives, but because the incentives are lost in the morass of indirectness. Bureaucratic bottlenecks are surely part of the problem, but by no means the crucial factor.

The central issue seems to have less to do with bureaucratic bottlenecks than with a yawning disconnect between the type of economy envisioned in the new package and the type of economy required to spur SMEs and address poverty problems. Unless based on a complete misreading, it seems clear that the new policy package is predicated upon a dogged intent to bring the poor and SMEs as quickly as possible into the ambit of the modern and cosmopolitan economy.

I, as much as you perhaps, would surely be delighted to see my fellow citizens become active participants in the haut monde of modern and suave economy, rather than merely being passive consumers. But things start to bog down when we consider the initial conditions from which the new policy package must start. To begin with, the most elementary problem is the fact that there are 108.78 million Indonesians living on less than US$2 a day. This is almost half of the Indonesian population.

What has this to do with the new policy package? Except that we are guided by myopia, this also means that any attempts at poverty reduction must start from a very low base, be it low purchasing power, low capital, low productivity or low economic network.

With regard to the issue of the SMEs sector, the picture is even starker. The term "small and medium enterprises" may sound innocent, but it has blotted out a vast continent of "micro enterprises" that constitute the biggest number of economic units in Indonesia. There are approximately 41.8 million micro and 588,000 small enterprises as compared to 62,000 medium and 2,000 big or giant enterprises. This means, micro and small enterprises comprise a combined 99.84 percent of the economic units in Indonesia.

While providing business confidence for big or giant investors remains imperative, any policy to spur the growth of SMEs that conceives its agenda from the outlook of the haut monde economy is likely to flounder. It is precarious to say the least, because the future threatens to prove the good-willed policy wrong.

It may be true that the future belongs to the integration of this vast continent of micro and small enterprises into the ambit of the modern economy. But to do so by imposing the policy outlook of the latter upon the former is a recipe for more inertia.

This may explain why even after a series of economic reform packages, no significant outcome has taken place in the micro-and-small-enterprises sector. So, if they are to be gradually integrated into the modern economy, let it happen through a trial-and-error process rather than through policy wishful thinking.

But how alien is the haut monde of modern economic outlook to the denizens of the micro and small enterprises? A few weeks ago, I had some visitors from Perkumpulan Suara Ibu Peduli, or the Voice of Concerned Mothers Association. Founded at the height of the financial crisis in 1998, it has grown into a network of grassroots movements, of which the most important is a loan cooperative for micro and small scale entrepreneurship carried out in the style of Muhammad Yunus' micro finance. It is now "responsible" for the economic survival of about 2,000 poor families in Greater Jakarta.

They came to inquire about some possible collaboration to obtain soft loans or to grant the expansion of their credit coops, as they have been in high demand in many poor areas in Bekasi. What was revealing is, they simply would not go to modern and conventional banks.

Even if they wished to make savings in any of these banks, they could start only from a meager amount of Rp 1.5 million ($160). And they can't afford this, as the administrative costs would deplete the meager amount they wished to start with.

All this may sound mundane, but it embarrassingly threatens to prove that the agenda of the new economic reform package will be lost in the morass of indirectness.

The writer, a lecturer in the Postgraduate Program at The Driyarkara School of Philosophy, Jakarta, holds a PhD from The London School of Economics.
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#54175 - 19 Jun 07 19:46 Re: JP/The yoke of indirectness in the new economic package [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Roy's Hair Offline
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Registered: 08 Nov 06
Posts: 3974
Loc: jakarta
I tried reading this in the post today. Utterly incomprehensible, over verbose tosh. I challenge anyone to get to the end. And he's got a PhD from LSE!!! The guy reading his dissertation must have thought '"Fuck it, can't make head or tail of this, I'll just pass him" about two pages in.
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#54177 - 19 Jun 07 19:56 Re: JP/The yoke of indirectness in the new economic package [Re: Roy's Hair]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
i tossed up myself whether to post it. it was clearly a spit and promise job my someone on the check desk. but i posted it here because i wanted to get more commentary about what non-events all these so-called economic reform measures have turned out to be, despite enormous hope and expectation on the part of foreign investors in particular.

the new investment law has turned into a gigantic belly flop, and the govt is about to shoot itself in the foot with the new taxation law.

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KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#54178 - 19 Jun 07 20:29 Re: JP/The yoke of indirectness in the new economic package [Re: KuKuKaChu]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
metaphors galore -- mixed ones, phrasal ones and metaphorical malapropisms. He could've said all that in 1 simple sentence:

The economic package won't alleviate poverty because it doesn't properly address the real issues for small businesspeople.
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Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#54179 - 19 Jun 07 20:36 Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: Roy's Hair]
kenyeung Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 16 Apr 07
Posts: 2374
Loc: Indonesia
The headline and lead par are bollox. The whole thing is almost as bad as the unreadable tripe in those dreadful Metro Mad columns in The Sunday Post. I waded further down, but had to skip a few chunks before reaching the end. University-style treatises that use big words to clumsily express plagiarised ideas don't belong in newspapers. I could've subbed this entire article into one sentence: The poor aint gettin shit under the government's new business incentive policy.

Better if Cuckoo post nice business article like this:

Coughing Up Tax Revenue?

Indonesia plans to cap cigarette output by 2010
19 Jun 2007 07:33:00 GMT
Source: Reuters

By Yayat Supriatna,

JAKARTA, June 19 (Reuters) - Indonesia plans to start limiting cigarette production by 2010 in a tentative move to curb smoking in the world's fifth-largest tobacco market.

While the number of smokers in western countries has fallen, a third of Indonesians now smoke, up from a quarter 10 years ago.

Cigarettes cost as little as $1 a pack in Indonesia, which has a population of around 225 million.

Imam Haryono, director of beverages and tobacco at the Industry Ministry, said on Tuesday there were plans to cap production at 240 billion cigarettes in 2010.

"In 2010, we will impose a maximum production of 240 billion sticks and in 2015 the limit will be 260 billion and remain at that until 2020," Haryono said.

Indonesians smoked an estimated 220 billion cigarettes last year, the same as in 2005 but below a peak of 239 billion in 2000, according to government data.

According to the World Health Organisation, about a quarter of deaths in Indonesia in 2005 were caused by tobacco, and 80 percent of lung and respiratory cancer cases were due to smoking.

The industry expects to pay 42 trillion rupiah ($4.8 billion) in cigarette excise this year, up from 11 trillion rupiah in 2001.

Cigarette makers such as Gudang Garam and Handaya Mandala Sampoerna are among the biggest firms on the stock exchange. The four locally listed tobacco companies have a combined market capitalisation of more than $9 billion.

Some lawmakers have been trying to introduce an anti-tobacco bill seeking to ban advertising by tobacco firms, increase taxes on cigarettes and make graphic warnings on cigarette packs mandatory, but opponents argue this will harm millions who depend on the tobacco industry for a living.

Indonesia is also reluctant to sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) aimed at cutting cigarette consumption because of concerns about the developing country's economy.

China, the world's largest cigarette producer, is among countries that have signed the treaty.
------------------------------------------------------------

Not surprising that this happens after I quit smoking. Demand is waning. Can't see the govt limiting tobacco production though - no chance - unless smoking becomes increasingly unaffordable to Joe Rakyat.

Limiting cigarette output would be great - but it would be even better if international NGOs/local LSMs/Govt could stop agricultural land from being converted into tobacco plantations - especially in eastern Indonesia. So many islands in eastern Indonesia used to be relatively self-sufficient in food. But so many farmers sold their land (via brokers/agents) to tobacco firms - especially BAT - and their islands now have to import food. Worse, ex-farmers soon spend the money they got for their land, hence child malnutrition - even starvation (pronounced BUSUNG LAPAR) - is on the rise. So fuck the tobacco firms - or at least use part of cigarette taxes to provide assistance to poor farmers and food supplies to the needy in tobacco-growing districts. Dreaming of course. But no longer coughing up brown-green-red sputum every hour.


Edited by kenyeung (19 Jun 07 21:34)
Edit Reason: Tommy Soeharto's cock

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#54294 - 21 Jun 07 16:48 Re: Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: kenyeung]
Roy's Hair Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 08 Nov 06
Posts: 3974
Loc: jakarta
They should ban cigarette holders ay Ken ??
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#54448 - 23 Jun 07 14:48 Re: Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: Roy's Hair]
kenyeung Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 16 Apr 07
Posts: 2374
Loc: Indonesia
I have it on good authority that those little plastic cigarette holders are used only by queers and tall germans.

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#54454 - 23 Jun 07 15:24 Re: Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: kenyeung]
Roy's Hair Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 08 Nov 06
Posts: 3974
Loc: jakarta
...and poovey sippers of creme de menthe and snappers up of unpaid rent.
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#54461 - 23 Jun 07 15:56 Re: Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: Roy's Hair]
Capt. Mainwaring Offline
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Registered: 16 Aug 06
Posts: 3225
Loc: here
But so many farmers sold their land (via brokers/agents) to tobacco firms - especially BAT - and their islands now have to import food. Worse, ex-farmers soon spend the money they got for their land, hence child malnutrition - even starvation (pronounced BUSUNG LAPAR) - is on the rise. So fuck the tobacco firms - or at least use part of cigarette taxes to provide assistance to poor farmers and food supplies to the needy in tobacco-growing districts. Dreaming of course. But no longer coughing up brown-green-red sputum every hour.

Oh God , not this old cherry again . BAT grow no tobacco in Indonesia - they don't actually buy that much - the kawi tobacco's produced in Indonesia have no place in "straight" virginia cigarettes - BAT are still very "english" in their tobacco products , whilst PMI toast burley tobacco which is grown in Indo , BAT's key brands do not contain it -
Universal Leaf buy plenty of tobacco from Indo , but it stays exported , and the vast majority of the bright tobacco used in Indo comes from Bangladesh and India .
None of the tobacco used in Marlboro is even processed in Indo , it comes from malaysia - though this is set to change shortly as PT HMS are starting to process from PMI blends .

Very few leaf dealers are in the least bit interested in owning the land where tobacco is grown - normally they limit their involvement to supply seed ( to prevent dilution of the crop and nornicotine problems) and fertilizer - there is actually no benefit in owning land used for tobacco production , it is just too volatile in demand .

Growing the stuff isn't the problem - but smoking it clearly is .

Nobody cares about graphic warnings - do you stop getting hammered every friday night because you see a picture of a cirrhotic liver ?

The UK "makes" GBP 17,000,000 a day on direct tobacco taxation - where do you suppose that this money goes ? healthcare ?

The argument is pretty empty really - everyone knows that tobacco products are bad for you ( except perhaps Niacin, Vitamin B3 ) - how about alcohol though , just how many lives does alcohol ruin ? and lates face it , the symptoms are the same , just more socially acceptable , but a good deal more insipid . The UK is facing a very real future problem with alcohol dependency and damage to health ( as is the expat population of Jakarta) - but there are no real efforts being made to curb excess drinking because alcohol is the modern alternative to tobacco , and elixir and solution for all the stresses of modern life .


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I also made a vegetarian version,with tempe and tofu chunks for myself and others.Get over it.
Kosong.Wolo.Setunggal.Setunggal.Setunggal.Kosong.Pitu.Setunggal.Kosong.Wolo=Tempik

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#54478 - 23 Jun 07 21:45 Re: Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: Capt. Mainwaring]
kenyeung Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 16 Apr 07
Posts: 2374
Loc: Indonesia
Quoting: Capt. Mainwaring
BAT grow no tobacco in Indonesia...
BAT are still very "english" in their tobacco products, whilst PMI toast burley tobacco which is grown in Indo, BAT's key brands do not contain it...


I grovel corrected. Last time I was in Sumbawa, a farmer/guide told me much of the farmland - now covered in tobacco plants - had been sold to make "pall mall" cigarettes. Hence my erroneous assumption that BAT owns tobacco farms in Indonesia. Sorry.

But regarding burley, BAT's website says it's used in Luckys and Pall Malls:

‘American Blend’ cigarettes such as Lucky Strike or Pall Mall use Burley tobacco, blended with Virginia and Oriental tobacco. It is also used in hand-rolling and pipe tobacco and cigars... Burley, is a slightly lighter green than Virginia. It requires heavier soils and more fertiliser than Virginia. Some of the best Burley is grown in US states such as Maryland and Kentucky, in Central America, Malawi, Uganda and Indonesia.

I fondly remember when BAT handed out loads of free smokes a few years ago in response to accusations that its "Light Up The Night" promotional parties (which involved prizes for women who danced and removed their clothing) were fostering immorality.

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#54488 - 24 Jun 07 00:20 Re: Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: kenyeung]
Capt. Mainwaring Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 16 Aug 06
Posts: 3225
Loc: here
Pall Mall is an old ATC brand inherited during the merger of Brown and Williamsom with RJR,and Lucky Strike is an old American Tobacco blend , again inherited by BATCo from Brown and Williamson . RJR make Pall Malls in the US , and BATCo outside .

The Burley grown in Indo is pretty much all used in high end tobacco's - it is much too expensive for the masses at USD3.50 a Kg

As mentioned , Kawi tobacco is some of the best fragrant tobacco about .

Did you know that some of the Canadian virginia tobacco's can have as much as 25% sugar content ?
_________________________
I also made a vegetarian version,with tempe and tofu chunks for myself and others.Get over it.
Kosong.Wolo.Setunggal.Setunggal.Setunggal.Kosong.Pitu.Setunggal.Kosong.Wolo=Tempik

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#54489 - 24 Jun 07 00:37 Re: Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: Capt. Mainwaring]
Dilli Offline
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Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
Whats the scoop on Benson & Hedges?
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#54501 - 24 Jun 07 08:25 Re: Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: Dilli]
kenyeung Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 16 Apr 07
Posts: 2374
Loc: Indonesia
The history of Benson & Hedges dates back to 1983 when Cedric Benson & Jasper Hedges set up an Islamic pornography business, Benson & Hedges Ltd. at 13 Old Bond Street, London. The company was formed to provide photographs of nude Arab men for the Prince of Wales. A Royal Warrant was issued to the company in 1978, after supplying the Royal Family for five years. This was revoked in 1989 due to "declining demand for Arab porn in the royal households". The Warrant seal, which had previously been on the flip lid of the box, was removed, cancelled and replaced by a pair of women's tits.

Cedric Benson left the thriving Islamic porn business in 1993, the same year that Brandi Hedges succeeded her father and Arsenal won the FA Cup Final after extra time. In the mid-1990s, branches of Benson & Hedges (Overseas) Ltd also opened in America, Chad and Semarang. In 1997, the American branch became independent, it was bought by Philip Morris, who also purchased the Semarang branch. Benson & Hedges Ltd in the UK was acquired by Tommy Soeharto in 1998. In 2000, British American Tobacco acquired Benson & Hedges Ltd to secure the Semarang trademark and seal, which had by now evolved into a picture of a Tommy Soeharto's cock. The company then began producing Ardath cigarettes, with their unique blend of barley, sambal and powdered rabbit semen.

Today, British American Tobacco owns the trademark for Benson & Hedges and also owns tobacco fields (worked by overpaid slaves) throughout the Asia Pacific (excluding China, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Cambodia, Singapore and East Timor), the Middle East, most of Africa and Europe.

In 2006, Benson & Hedges ran a notable advertising campaign which featured a smiling Tommy Soeharto being sucked off by a horse. Subsequent advertisements have featured Tommy and his father sucking off a horse.

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#54502 - 24 Jun 07 08:34 Re: Coughing Up Tax Revenue? [Re: kenyeung]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
Thank you for the illuminating history!

I beleieve I still have some of the pre 1989 collectibles that I would bewilling to swap for a mint copy of the 2006 ad's.
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