Play the Budget Game and See What It's Like to Be Finance Minister

Ever wondered what it is like to be Indonesia's finance minister? You can now get a taste of what keeps Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati awake at night with a new budget simulation game. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

By : Tabita Diela | on 7:14 PM November 10, 2017
Category : Business, Economy

Jakarta. Ever wondered what it is like to be Indonesia's finance minister? You can now get a taste of what keeps Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati awake at night with a new budget simulation game.

The ministry launched the game in September as part of efforts to raise greater public awareness of the budgeting process behind much-needed infrastructure projects and the government's support for health care and education.

Economists, students and state budget aficionados can play the game online to find the best possible way to create a budget that will deliver on all the nation's priorities, while avoiding legal pitfalls.

"I want you to try to become a finance minister," Sri Mulyani said in a post on her Instagram account on Sept. 23.

Saya ingin kamu mencoba menjadi Menteri Keuangan. Apa yang akan kamu lakukan apabila menjadi Menteri Keuangan? Dalam berbagai kesempatan saya sering ditany mengenai bagaimana mengelola anggaran dan belanja negara (APBN). Sering masyarakat menanyakan mengapa belanja untuk kesehatan kurang, mengapa infrastruktur jalan, listrik dan air bersih masih minim di daerah saya, mengapa anggaran penelitian tidak ditambah, mengapa masyarakat harus membayar listrik lebih mahal, mengapa tidak ditambah subsidinya, mengapa masih ada gedung sekolah yang rusak berat, mengapa masih ada anak tidak mampu sekolah, mengapa tidak membeli lebih banyak kapal patroli untuk menjaga perairan Indonesia, mengapa gaji pegawai negeri dan pensiunan tidak dinaikkan, dll dll. Saya ingin anda mencoba menjadi Menteri Keuangan dengan melakukan simulasi APBN, paling tidak dari mengatur jumlah belanja. Bagaimana Alokasi belanja dilakukan, bagaimana agar manfaat belanja dapat didistribusikan dengan adil. Bagaimana APBN menjadi alat menjaga stabilisasi negara. Situasi yang aktual akan lebih kompleks dengan pengelolaan sisi penerimaan negara dan sisi pembiayaan. Juga aturan UU yang harus kita patuhi. APBN adalah alat negara untuk mencapai tujuan masyarakat adil dan makmur serta tujuan kemerdekaan lainnya. Oleh karena itu penyusunan APBN membutuhkan perencanaan yang baik di Pemerintah pusat maupun di daerah, dan pelaksanaan harus dilakukan bebas dari korupsi dan konflik kepentingan agar tujuan bernegara kita tercapai. APBN adalah milik kita bersama, pahami, peduli, miliki dan awasi. Anda ingin menjadi Menteri Keuangan? Rancang sendiri APBN versi kamu di simulasi di bawah ini, lalu bagikan di medsos kamu: www.kemenkeu.go.id/simulasiapbn #KemenkeuTepercaya #SadarAPBN

A post shared by Sri Mulyani Indrawati (@smindrawati) on

The minister said she often receives questions and complaints about the budgeting process. She added that people want the government to spend more on health care, education and national security, but they oppose steps to cut unnecessary subsidies.

"What would you do if you try to become finance minister? The actual situation would be more complex as [one must] manage state revenue and the financing side. There are also laws to obey," she said.

The game requires players to keep the budget deficit below 3 percent of gross domestic product.

Indonesia is not the first country to create a budget game. Several other jurisdictions, including Colorado, Louisiana, and California in the United States, have done so, but not necessarily by the central authority.

The Indonesian version of the game was introduced when the government sought approval of the state budget by the House of Representatives. The 2018 state budget, which was passed in October, puts the focus on eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and creating jobs.

The House and the government agreed on a total revenue target of Rp 1,894.7 trillion ($140.6 billion) next year, and a total spending target of Rp 2,220.7 trillion. The initial proposal, submitted in August, set the revenue target at Rp 1,878.4 trillion and the spending target at Rp 2,204.4 trillion.

The game was still available online on Friday (10/11).

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