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Indonesia to launch helpdesk for distressed industries
05
Oct '15
The Indonesian government will launch a help desk dedicated to helping to solve problems in the textile and footwear industries in a bid to prevent more layoffs in labour-intensive businesses, according to newspaper reports in the country.

The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and several ministries including the Trade Ministry, Industry Ministry, Manpower Ministry, Finance Ministry and Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry are preparing to launch the dedicated desk.

BKPM head Franky Sibarani told reporters in Jakarta that the special desk would be located at the BKPM office and was set to launch on October 9.

The desk will receive and identify problems experienced by companies in the industries and offer them specific and applicable solutions. Companies that face mass layoffs can also ask the help desk to find financing assistance from state-lenders or to ask for more time to pay tax or electricity bills.

Franky said the initiative is currently focusing on textile and shoe industries as they are prone to layoffs due to the sluggish economy.

Franky added that many companies had complained about soaring prices of raw materials, most of which are imported, as the rupiah plunged to more than 14,700 to a dollar, a level unseen since the 1998 financial crisis.

They also complained about illegal textile and apparel imports.

In a statement, BKPM said the textile industry has laid off around 39,000 workers recently. However, the BKPM also noted a 58 per cent increase in textile industry investment realization value during the first half of this year, to Rp 3.88 trillion ($264,67 million).

According to the Indonesia Textile Association (API), at least 6,000 of the 1.5 million workers in that sector were laid off in May. But it also noted that the garment industry in Central Java suffered a shortage of 8,000 workers.

Franky said such an “anomaly” encouraged the government to take immediate steps to save existing companies in the industries by establishing the help desk. The desk would comprise three parties – officials from the associations, the BKPM and the ministries concerned. Officials from the ministries in charge would be available on an on-call basis depending on the problems raised by companies. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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