Jakarta. In an annual meeting of financial services industry held by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) at Grand Ballroom of Kempinski Hotel today, Vice President Jusuf Kalla underscored the importance of preserving healthy and competitive management of financial services to boost the growth of national economy.

“Financial services to a country are like blood to the human body. The health condition of a person can be measured based on the blood condition. There should be a balance to create a harmony between the two entities,” said the Vice President.

He further reminded that financial services industry should not burden the nation as what happened in the 1998 monetary crisis.

“There must not be any bailout anymore. If a bank or a financial institution is in hardship, it must be responsible to resolve it by itself and not pass the burden to the country. We do not want the crisis in the past to repeat,” he affirmed, adding that bailout policy would only enlarge the Gini ratio and increase inequality.

For that reason, Mr Kalla hoped all financial institutions to run their services properly so as to survive when facing a crisis.

In that occasion, the Vice President also appreciated Bank of Indonesia that had lowered its benchmark interest rate, however small it is, for this will encourage people to do business.

Other banks, he added, should follow this step so that real sectors and small and medium enterprises will get loans from the banks with competitive interest rate.

“Please make efforts to prevent higher non-performing loans (NPL). It is almost never that a country advances with high interest rate,” he argued.

The Vice President then asked all business players and financial services industry to make a synergy to cope with the global competition.

Previously, OJK chairman Muliaman Hadad encouraged financial services industry to contribute more on the development of national economy.

“The low inflation as we experience now is a momentum for us to boost domestic productivity by utilizing more rooms in the financial system,” he said.

In the future, he added, OJK will be more focused on two elements promoting productive economy: first, empowering small and medium enterprises, regional economy, and priority economic sectors; and second, promoting the utilization of financial services to fund long-term projects as well as encouraging companies to get involved in the efforts of developing national economy.