Govt Tells Civil Servants to ‘Buy Indonesian’

JAKARTA ~ Civil servants will be ordered to buy locally made products for everything from clothes to movies under rules intended to boost demand amid the global economic crisis, a senior official said this week.

“This is an effort for coping with the global financial crisis, to prevent our country from being dominated by imported products,” Fauzi Aziz, director of small and medium enterprises at the Trade and Industry Ministry said.

The new rules, which include sanctions for noncompliance, were being prepared by the industry and trade ministries on the direction of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and hoped to be in force by March, he said.

Government workers would be required to buy locally made food, drinks, shoes, clothes, “accessories,” and films and music, Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said.

The trade, industry and administrative reform ministries would “join forces” to enforce the rules, Aziz said, without explaining how the country would police the shopping behavior of its roughly four million civil servants.

Exports fell 21 percent in December from the year before to US$8.69 billion, the steepest drop in seven years, the national statistics agency said earlier this month.

The government has also revised down its economic growth forecast for the year to 4.7 percent from an earlier 6.2 percent.

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