President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Tuesday criticized regional governments that have not deregulated the lengthy process of issuing business permits, believed to be responsible for sluggish investment growth in the country.
Jokowi said in Jakarta on Tuesday that the average time for independent power producer investors to obtain licenses from central government was 19 days, but investors needed 775 days on average to obtain licenses from regional governments.
For agriculture related investment, central government needed 19 days to issue licenses, while local governments needed 726 days on average, he added
“I present the data to you now. It means we have a problem in the regions,” President Jokowi said in front of regional provincial governors and speakers of regional legislative councils at the Presidential Palace.
He said many investors had canceled their plans to invest after facing numerous problems.
“Please analyze bylaws and other regional regulations, especially those relating to investment,” said the President.
Jokowi also called on the regions to establish Investment Acceleration Task Forces to help smoothen the process of issuing investment permits.
South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin said only 10 out of 34 provinces and only 75 out of 514 regencies and cities had established task forces. Alex’s province had yet to establish the task force.
“We will establish the task force soon, the target is [by the end of] this January,” he told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the meeting at the Presidential Palace.
Similar comments were made by Banten Governor Wahidin Halim, who also promised to establish the task force.