Indrawati is a new entry this year
Mulyani Indrawati is a fresh face in the Global Tax
50. As the Indonesian finance minister, she is a
renowned economist and tax justice campaigner.
As the former managing director at the World Bank, Indrawati
was appointed to her latest position in July 2016, a position
she previously held between 2005 and 2010. Described as a
straight-talking technocrat by the Financial Times.
Indrawati intends to boost the economic prospects of Southeast
Asia's biggest economy with market-friendly tax reforms.
Indrawati has a distinguished record of service and
achievement, both in Indonesia and on the global stage. She was
named as the executive director at the IMF on November 1 2002
due to her expertise across the monetary economy and banking
sector. On December 5 2005, she was first appointed as the
finance minister in Indonesia, but quit after a long-running
dispute with the country's influential tycoons. Nevertheless,
during her term, she stabilised the macro-economy, maintained
prudent fiscal policy, decreased the cost of loans, managed
debt, and increased trust among investors.
Coming full circle, Indrawati will now focus her efforts on
restoring the state budget and improving investors' confidence
in Indonesia's market. Indrawati has set her sights on ending
tax avoiders and evaders. She warned tax dodgers that an
eight-month tax amnesty programme will be their last
opportunity to have all of their "sins deleted" or face "hell"
afterwards, Reuters reported. "This is not a personal
battle. This is really the need of the country to build the
right reputation...to build a good and sound system," she told
The Wall Street Journal in an interview. The landmark
tax amnesty programme was opened on July 18 and is Indonesia's
latest attempt at building a fair tax system.
"The economy is actually thriving and there is no tax being
paid by that activity, we will start enforcing ─
questioning first and then enforcing," Indrawati said. "We are
really trying to narrow or eliminate this room for them to try
and play around."
Although the long-awaited tax amnesty scheme was launched
under her predecessor, Indrawati has tried to champion this
opportunity by urging taxpayers to use the facility to
regularise their tax affairs. However, the scheme has not
proven as successful as hoped, but she is determined to make it
work and is proposing an extension.
Under her watch, the finance ministry has also been pushing
for greater tax compliance, going after big multinationals such
as Google to make it pay its fair share of tax.
Her reputation as finance minister during 2005 to 2010
depicts her as leading tax reform packages. This suggests that
the tax amnesty scheme is only the beginning. Indonesian
President Joko Widodo said that this is the first of many
initiatives to boost the economy, attract foreign businesses
and compete with neighbouring countries for investment.
Following her appointment as finance minister, Indrawati
said in a statement on LinkedIn: "I will dedicate all my
efforts to accelerating Indonesia's development agenda with the
goal of providing more and better services, particularly to the
poor, and ensuring that all citizens will be able to
participate in the benefits of a thriving economy."