Active Stocks
Tue Nov 28 2023 15:55:00
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 126.85 0.75%
  1. Tata Motors share price
  2. 697.6 3.56%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 210.15 -0.19%
  1. ICICI Bank share price
  2. 926.05 -0.33%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 564.55 0.76%
Business News/ News / World/  Indonesian MPs to rule on FM’s eligibility for central bank job
Back Back

Indonesian MPs to rule on FM’s eligibility for central bank job

If Parliament decides against finance minister Agus Martowardojo, President will have to offer a new candidate

A file photo of Indonesian finance minister Agus Martowardojo. Photo: AFP (AFP )Premium
A file photo of Indonesian finance minister Agus Martowardojo. Photo: AFP
(AFP )

Jakarta: Indonesia’s Parliament will decide on Tuesday whether finance minister Agus Martowardojo is an eligible candidate for the governorship of the country’s central bank, or to reject the president’s nominee at the first hurdle.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last month sprang a surprise by nominating the career banker to take over Bank Indonesia from May, rather than give the current governor, Darmin Nasution, a second term.

Harry Azhar Azis, deputy chairman of financial commission, told Reuters on Monday that the commission will meet on Tuesday evening, a day later than had been expected, to determine Martowardojo’s eligibility.

He was rejected once before for the position, back in 2008. His rejection, at that time, was seen more as parliament flexing its political muscles in competition with the presidential palace rather than anything specifically against Martowardojo.

If Martowardojo is declared eligible on Tuesday, the commission will then set a date for a “fit and proper test" and vote whether to approve his appointment.

Neither Golkar party, a junior and sometimes awkward member of the ruling coalition, nor the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) have said whether they will support Yudhoyono’s choice.

Without their support it is unlikely to go through.

PDI-P officials said the party would probably decide later on Monday.

However, some parliamentarians have questioned Martowardojo’s lack of experience in monetary issues, which will be a chief concern of the central bank. Its regulatory oversight of the banking industry will shift to another agency next year.

Others have also raised doubts over his integrity. The finance minister was recently questioned by the anti-corruption agency as a witness in an investigation into a graft scandal surrounding construction of a sports centre, an issue which has badly hit Yudhoyono’s ruling Democratic Party. But there has been no suggestion that Martowardojo was himself involved in any wrongdoing.

If Parliament decides against Martowardojo, the President will have to offer a new candidate.

President Yudhoyono has given no reason why he did not seek to extend Nasution’s tenure at Bank Indonesia. Nor did he say why he wanted to move Martowardojo out of the cabinet.

Some analysts have said the shift to central bank governor will mean Martowardojo will have less political sway.

But at least the central bank is independent of government, so Martowardojo would still have say in economic policymaking if the ruling Democrat Party loses power in the general and presidential elections due next year, when Yudhoyono is set to stand down having served a maximum two terms.

Milestone Alert!
Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Updated: 04 Mar 2013, 02:12 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App