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Indonesia considers tax amnesty for financial crimes: tax office head

Bambang Brodjonegoro, Indonesia's finance minister, listens during an interview at his office in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014.

[JAKARTA] Indonesia's tax office is considering a tax amnesty for financial crimes, in a move that could bring back at least 100 trillion rupiah (S$10 billion) to the state coffers, the director-general of taxes said on Wednesday.

Southeast Asia's biggest economy is grappling with the weakest economic growth in six years and a huge budget deficit, while its tax collection rate is one of the lowest in the region as a proportion of gross domestic product.

Under the tax office's proposal, the perpetrators of financial crimes including corruption and money laundering can pay a 10-15 per cent tax on the assets they bring back to Indonesia, in return for a pardon from criminal prosecution, Sigit Priadi Pramudito told reporters.

The plan would need parliamentary approval. "Our priority is to pull back overseas funds. If we don't do anything, who benefits? It's Singapore," Mr Pramudito said."There's no other way to take back those funds. The money has been stored in Singapore for decades." A bill on the tax amnesty is expected to be deliberated as soon as this year, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.