Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo remembered his own experience with the government when he explained on Wednesday why the ease of doing business became one of his top priorities since he took office in 2014.
The president said he had first-hand experience with how difficult it was to obtain a business permit from authorities.
“During the early days of my business, my biggest obstacle is to own a business permit in 1988-89,” Jokowi told the gathering of micro, small, and medium enterprises in Cijantung, East Jakarta.
Jokowi ran a furniture business under a company named Rakabu in his hometown of Solo in Central Java before he actively engaged in politics.
“I didn’t have business permits so I couldn’t get access to the banking system. I was unable to get a loan due to a lack of business permits,” he said.
To obtain business permits at that time, an entrepreneur had to pay a big sum of money to authorities, he continued.
“I had to pay to obtain permits but I just couldn’t afford that and my company for years ended up without business permits called SIUP and TDP, which were badly needed by micro and small businesses at that time,” Jokowi said.
When he became president, his main agenda was to reform the business licensing regime and get rid of bureaucratic red tapes to allow free and easy business licenses for MSMEs.
His government also introduced the so-called risk-based online single submission (OSS) system for business licensing, an integrated system that allows businesses to visit just a single door to obtain all the necessary permits.
Small businesses can now apply for the business identification number (NIB) for free to open access to the banking system, the president said.
“I have checked the OSS system to prove if it enabled a speedy process in obtaining NIB and it did. But I need to double-check just to make sure,” he said.
According to data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), the OSS system has issued NIB for 1.5 million businesses as of Tuesday, with 98 percent going to small businesses.