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Jakarta Post

New ministries to face uphill battle

  • Bagus BT Saragih

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, September 29, 2014   /  10:33 am

President-elect Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo says he will set up new ministries that will handle old problems with a new focus.

Jokowi and his, vice president-elect Jusuf Kalla, have announced that the next Cabinet will have 34 ministries, 19 of which will be the same as those under current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Meanwhile, 15 ministries will be given new names due to the merging of some functions currently handled by different ministries.

One new ministry will be the Population Ministry, which will handle work previously undertaken by the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN).

Andi Widjajanto, one of Jokowi'€™s transition team deputies, said that once established, the new ministry would work from scratch.

'€œAt the early stage, the ministry will consolidate all available population-related data,'€ he said. Currently, there are discrepancies in such data used across government, leading to inconsistencies in the measurement of development priorities, Andi said.

He said ministries based their programs on different poverty indicators.

'€œThe next step is to hold a national review of the data to establish a single database to be used as a basis by the government,'€ Andi said. '€œFor example, we need to review all data related to national poverty levels and disadvantaged regions.'€

Expectations are high that the ministry will help Jokowi implement his campaign promise to revitalize the family planning program, which languished soon after the demise of the New Order regime.

Others also believe the ministry has been set up to prepare for the so-called demographic bonus, which is predicted to transpire in 2025-2035.

During that period, it is expected that the number of people within the productive age bracket will be higher than the number of elderly people and children.

BKKBN head Fasli Jalal said he welcomed Jokowi'€™s plan to set up the Population Ministry. '€œPopulation-related issues can be handled more effectively so the programs on population, family planning and family improvements can work more smoothly,'€ he said.

Indo-Strategy director Andar Nubowo said Jokowi had made the right decision to set up the ministry, particularly given that population growth had become a global issue.

'€œIt'€™s a brave and innovative move. Today, you can'€™t separate population issues from other issues such as food security, housing, energy, even politics and democracy,'€ he said.

Meanwhile, to deal with the country'€™s chaotic land management, Jokowi also plans to turn the National Land Agency (BPN) into the Agrarian Ministry.

Andi of the transition team said the ministry was aimed at expediting the land consolidation processes necessary to support Jokowi-Kalla'€™s ambitious development programs.

'€œIn the past, development programs were frequently hampered by land disputes. Jokowi wants a system that is able to settle this kind of issue more effectively, so he can ensure that his programs can be delivered on time,'€ he said.

Jokowi'€™s ambitious programs, such as the development of ports as part of his vision for a maritime axis, would need to procure massive amounts of land, Andi said.

The team'€™s other deputy, Hasto Kristiyanto, said problems surrounding land procurement had also hampered the development of new power plants or oil rigs which, if not addressed, could hinder Jokowi'€™s programs in the energy sector.

Hasto said the ministry would have more power than the BPN. '€œFor example, it would employ a regulatory function that the BPN doesn'€™t have,'€ Andi said.

'€œAbout 60 percent of total legal cases nationwide are related to land disputes. This ministry would help the police and prosecutors settle them and, at the same time, would curb the potential of new disputes,'€ he said during a recent
interview.

According to Andi, the ministry would also centralize policies related to spatial planning. '€œWe will adopt the so-called '€˜one-map policy'€™. Today, what we have is many ministries and agencies with their own maps and spatial plans that often overlap,'€ he said.

BPN head Hendarman Supandji said he welcomed Jokowi'€™s plan to transform the agency into a ministry.

'€œOf course the plan would help efforts to achieve our agrarian reform programs,'€ he said on Wednesday. '€œThe ministry would get a stronger license to make policies.'€

Another new ministry would be the Maritime Ministry, which would play vital roles in helping Jokowi-Kalla follow through on the maritime axis concept.

There are five main programs in Jokowi-Kalla'€™s maritime vision, Andi said: The strengthening of maritime culture, the positioning of fishermen as a pillar of food sovereignty, the integrated maritime national system, boosting maritime security via the use of a single system to increase maritime domain awareness, and maritime diplomacy.

According to him, the Maritime ministry would play a coordinating role.

'€œWhen it comes to maritime issues, many ministries and agencies are related. The Maritime Ministry would serve as a hub for the president and those relevant agencies, to ensure that Jokowi-Kalla'€™s vision on the issues is translated correctly,'€ Andi said.

Population minister candidates:
* Sonny Harry B. Harmadi (head of the Institute of Demography at the University of Indonesia'€™s school of economics)
* Pratikno (rector of Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University)
* Fasli Jalal (BKKBN head)

Agrarian minister candidates:
* Arif Wibowo (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle politician)
* Usep Setiawan (agrarian activist, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle politician)
* Marwan Jafar (National Awakening Party politician)

Maritime minister candidates:
* Indroyono Soesilo (director of fisheries and aquaculture resources division, Food and Agriculture Organization)
* Jamaluddin Jompa (dean of the school of maritime and fisheries at the Makassar-based Hasanuddin University)
* Agus Suherman (director of Indonesian Fisheries or Perindo)

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