Indonesia – Hard times


Facing starvation The combined effects of the economic crisis and a drought could push the number of people below the poverty line to 50 million, says the World Bank.

Baby boom Cuts in government spending have left family-planning clinics short of imported contraceptives, which some saycould result in a boom of one million unplanned births.

Shrinking wallets Per-capita income has plunged from US$1,000 (S$1,660) before the crisis in July last year to US$300 now.

Future pain One in three students have dropped out of school, a move which the government says could hurt the economy in the long run as there would not be enough educated and trained people in the job market.

Wings clipped Air travel within Indonesia is grinding to a halt. Evaporating demand and rising costs have pushed the country’s six airlines close to insolvency, with one, PT Sempati Air, grounded.

No chicken feed Up to 80 per cent of small-scale poultry farmers might have to slaughter their chickens and close shop as rising prices of imported corn-feed jack up their costs.

Notes available New 50,000-rupiah (S$7.05) notes are now plentiful, thanks to the banking bail-out. The central bank has been printing money – more than 100 trillion rupiah, according to one newspaper.

No Macs today The price of a Big Mac has doubled from 4,500 rupiah to 9,400 rupiah, while french fries now cost 3,400 rupiah and a Coke, 2,400 rupiah. The minimum daily wage has been stuck at 6,635 rupiah. However, the Habibie government has decided to raise it from August this year to 7,615 rupiah.

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