Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged local governments to use up their surplus budgets for economic development.
He discovered that there was still USD $15 billion in reserves at the end of April, according to the Jakarta Globe.
“I shouldn’t have to remind you that state budget needs to be spent,” Widodo said. He added that the unspent funds are “an enormous sum of money that we’ve laboriously collected from taxpayers. Such a shame that it still hasn’t been used”.
He directed his warning at governors, as “more provinces are guilty of having left their budget to waste than other regional governments”.
The central government only spends half of the total state budget each year, with the remaining allocated to regional states.
However, the central government has the authority to allocate extra budget for regional governments. Widodo reportedly intends to use this power to punish regions that don’t meet their growth targets.