Indonesia’s tax office has come up with an unconventional response to pressure to raise the paltry tax take and shed its reputation for corruption in the form of a military boot camp for tax collectors.
The tax office said on Wednesday that it would soon start sending its 32,000 tax officers for two to three weeks of training with the army in an attempt to boost morale and promote professionalism.
Despite recent efforts to fight rampant corruption and reform the bureaucracy, Indonesia’s tax take as a proportion of economic output is among the lowest in emerging markets and the G20, according to the IMF. This tax shortage limits the government’s ability to pay for the infrastructure it needs to maintain rapid economic growth.
“This is not military training but disciplinary training that is aiming to increase employees’ patriotism and morale,” said Chandra Budi, spokesman for the tax office. “It requires a strong mentality and much vigor to fulfil the task of collecting tax.”
The tax officers will be put through their paces by the presidential security guard and the army’s strategic reserve command (Kostrad), an elite unit that has been accused of major human rights abuses in the past.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page