|Mulyani 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."
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