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Economy

Indonesia's SOE Minister hits back at Indrawati's warnings

Soemarno says state utility PLN has diverse funding sources

Rini Soemarno serves as Indonesia's minister of state-owned enterprises.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesia's State-owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno on Thursday shrugged off Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati's warnings of a potential "default risk" at state utility PLN, pointing to the company's strategy to diversify funding sources.

Indrawati's warnings, described in a leaked letter to Soemarno and Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan that was widely reported in the media, exposed a growing rift between Indonesia's top economic policymakers over President Joko Widodo's massive infrastructure development program. The letter has triggered a fresh debate over the role of SOEs and whether they are taking on too much risk."It's natural for the Ministry of Finance to warn us," Soemarno said in a speech during a seminar on infrastructure development, calling Indrawati "more of a worrier than I am."

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