The Jakarta Post
Twelve transportation projects will be started in the first quarter of the year as President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo witnessed the signing of 12 contracts totaling Rp 2.07 trillion (US$148 million).
The early implemented projects, aimed at speeding up budget spending, consisted of two roadways, four infrastructure installations for sea transportation, three for air transportation, two railways and a human resource development project.
"The old ways must be abandoned. In the past, most contracts were signed in October. Now it's going to be different. Contracts should be signed at the beginning of the year because doing it late in the mid-year may lead to economic contraction," Jokowi said in Jakarta on Monday.
Meanwhile, Jokowi added that projects on the regional level should be handed over to local contractors to boost the circulation of money in the community. "If there is no other way than appointing national contractors, then the sub-contractors must be from the region to broaden the circulation of money in the area," he said.
In addition, the earlier implementation of projects was expected to improve the quality of the projects. Typically, project construction was done during the rainy season at the end of the year, which reduced the quality of construction.
"And I command every project to be checked and controlled constantly, since anomalies and distortions usually appear in the field," Jokowi said, noting that earlier implementation of projects would likely help the ministry's budget spending to reach 90 percent of its total budget.
Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan explained that there will be 273 activities and/or projects to be signed in January, worth Rp 14.2 trillion, 34.15 percent of the Rp 41.7 trillion total capital expenditures.
"Our target is 70 percent of contract signing before March 31, or at least 85 percent tendered projects," Ignasius told the journalist, adding that the ministry signed several activity contracts worth more than 10 trillion as of Jan. 15.
Last year, budget spending of the Transportation Ministry was up to Rp 65.1 trillion, 76.5 percent of the total budget. In 2014, it was 75.4 percent of Rp 28.1 trillion. (ags)(+)