Economic Lecturer Reviews Infrastructure Policy

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Illustration: ANTARA FOTO/Fiqman Sunandar/ama/17.

UNAIR NEWS – Infrastructure has become important in Indonesia, considering that Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world and it is an archipelago. Of course, the infrastructure will be an investment for the long term and the benefits will be felt by the community in the next few years.

So, has Jokowi administration been right in building the infrastructure? Or are there other priority areas that should have been financed first?

Infrastructure requires great funding. Based on several sources, the APBN is not enough to cover infrastructure projects initiated by the administration. So, it took Indonesian hajj funds and also borrowed it.

“I agree if infrastructure is built, although from social funds. Because others will follow. For example, problems in Papua can be resolved, issue of hunger that made the government condemned for not being able to handle malnutrition, lack of education, as well as logistics which is run well, “said Eko Dawn Cahyono S.E., M.E., about the policy of improving the infrastructure run by the current government.

The lecturer at Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) Universitas Airlangga said that infrastructure became very important for the Indonesian people. Maybe, he continued, in the future, the government will focus on human resources in the quality of their education or expertise. Even though the infrastructure is important, the financing also needs attention.

“The government has a little difficulty in financing it. So everything is being taxed, for example boarding houses are taxed , students are also taxed , “he said.

It would be nice if the government could implement the waqf concept as expressed by Raditya Sukmana. Before the House of Representatives or Finance Minister Sri Mulyani convened in ratifying the State Budget, the government needs to raise funds from Indonesia’s rich people.

For example, rich people in Indonesia are collected. Then, the government made a presentation about the lack of costs in building schools and roads, as well as other infrastructure needs. It is not negative, but it tries to show that the needs of the nation is a shared responsibility.

“So, we can start waqf, because it is forever. The function will not be changed any time with the reward flowing continuously, “said Eko.

“Even the rich will think ‘will do this’ and ‘will do that’. Therefore, there will be residual expenses that have not been covered by the rich and that will be covered by taxes, “he said.

That is a “powerful instrument” that does not require us to owe to other countries such as Word Bank, IIUMF. In fact, Islamic economics has ” Social Instrument”  called ZISWAF (zakat, infaq , shadaqah , and waqf) which is still managed traditionally as waqf is only known for mosques and tombs. In fact, waqf can be done with apartments, buildings, and property or income can be diverted in educational development.

Infrastructure financing can be fulfilled through other alternatives without raising taxes or debts. It can be done by promoting waqf, including issuing sukuk (sharia-based bonds). It is already implemented. Therefore, the government can develop it well and does not burden the people with taxes.

“For example, it can be done by financing environmentally friendly development, the construction of electric water turbines. The welfare achieved and the environment remains sustainable,” said Eko.

In the end, Eko reviewed the issue of BPKH (Hajj Financial Management Agency). The fund used from Hajj funding is not the direct fund but from the profit of the Eternal Umah Fund (the remaining operational fun from activities of the pilgrimage). The intention was not only to build infrastructure, but also mosques, hajj halls, and Islamic educational institutions, including the Islamic center. (*)


Author: Rolista Dwi Oktavia

Editor: Feri Fenoria


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