Lawmakers argue draft law limiting cash transactions will 'make their lives difficult'

Source – April 5, 2022
Working meeting between Commission III and the PPATK at parliamentary complex in Jakarta – April 4, 2022 (Komaps)

Jakarta – House of Representatives (DPR) Commission III Chairperson Bambang Wuryanto says that the DPR will object to deliberating the Draft Law on the Restriction of Cash Transactions which has been proposed by the Financial Transactions Reporting and Analysis Center (PPATK).

Wuryanto claimed that the draft law could make legislator's lives difficult because cash transactions are essential for political activities.

"This is why it'll get stuck here, the DPR objects to it, it's almost certain because this will make our lives difficult. We're speaking honestly Pak [Sir], about the politics of wanting this to be used", said Wuryanto during a working meeting with the PPATK on Tuesday April 5.

Wuryanto said that the PPATK should not just consider its own interests but also the social conditions in a mature society.

The ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician said that the majority of the Indonesian public still considers financial factors in determining their political choices compared with the issue of a person's competency.

Because of this therefore, Wuryanto believes that politicians still need cash transactions to garner votes, one of which is by giving perspective voters sembako (basic commodities).

"This is what I'm relating to you, what is referred to as competition to get votes, everyone uses it (money), I'm being candid here, on the ground, where we're talking about, you want this (draft law), later if I want to buy sembako how will I do it", said Wuryanto.

The man who is known to has friends as Bambang Pacul, asked the PPATK to also pay attention to the aspirations of House members before proposing the draft law.

"I'm sure that if it's like this it will make things difficult for the DPR, it's included in the Prolegnas [National Legislation Program], that's okay, but later if it's included in [this year's] Prolegnas it'll keep being placed at the bottom", he said.

In response to this, PPATK head Ivan Yustiavandana said that cash transitions need to be restricted because they add to the risk of money laundering crimes (TPPU) in any country.

He denied that proposing the draft law was only in the interests of the PPATK. "So this discussion is related to law enforcement, money laundering crimes, even the funding of terrorism", said Yustiavandana.

Yustiavandana said that limiting cash transactions does not mean transactions are completely restricted, because although cash transactions may be restricted to a certain amount, the remainder can be done through a bank transfer.

"It may well depend on how much big the transaction is, only if it's related to cash, it would be enough if cash amounting to 100 million rupiah could be done, and the remainder using a bank transfer or other means", he said.

The Draft Law on Restricting Transactions Using Cash has already been included in the long-term Prolegnas for the period 2020-2024 but has not yet been included in the 2022 priority Prolegnas.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "DPR Keberatan Proses RUU Pembatasan Transaksi Uang Kartal, Ketua Komisi III: Menyulitkan Hidup Kami".]