The Jakarta Post
The government is to increase the budget allocated to repair damaged roads, particularly those connecting cities within a province, as well as those linking subdistricts within a regency.
Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said the government would use funds from the fiscal savings in the 2015 state budget.
According to the minister, about one-third of the total 47,000 kilometers of road connecting cities within provinces, or 'provincial roads', have been damaged. Meanwhile, almost half of the 350,000 km of roads in the regencies are also damaged.
'Therefore, Pak Wapres [Vice President Jusuf Kalla] has instructed the ministry to provide assistance to improve the quality of these roads using the remaining fiscal savings,' he said.
Basuki said the government was planning to allocate a total of Rp 490 trillion (US$39.3 billion) in the state budget to repair provincial roads, as well as roads linking subdistricts within a regency, or 'regency roads', over the next five years.
In the 2015 state budget, the government has allocated around Rp 23 trillion for provincial roads and regency roads.
Basuki said that the government was still discussing the possibility of adding another Rp 46 trillion in the state budget for road repairs next year.
'Our goal is to repair at least 70 percent of the damaged roads over the next five years,' the minister said.
The ministry's Bina Marga director general, Djoko Murjanto, said that the ministry would be in charge of preparing the road-repair programs and that the additional budget would be allocated directly in specific-purpose grants to the provincial administrations.
'Usually, the provincial administrations are allowed to manage the specific-purpose grants themselves. But this time we were instructed to assist the provincial administrations carry out the projects to ensure the program is in line with the central government's plan,' Djoko said.
Under the 2015 state budget, the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry's budget is set at Rp 85 trillion.
Next year's increased fiscal savings from the fuel subsidy reallocation and the government's austerity measures have allowed the ministry to request additional funding of Rp 47.5 trillion in the 2015 state budget.
The additional funds will be used to finance road projects (Rp 20 trillion), the food-sufficiency program (Rp 12.5 trillion), clean water and sanitation projects (Rp 13 trillion) and housing projects (Rp 2 trillion).
Djoko said that with the additional Rp 20 trillion budget allocated for road projects, the directorate general would have a total of Rp 60 trillion to manage next year.
He said that the additional money would be used to construct and increase road capacity in the country's border areas and to fund land acquisition for several toll-road projects.
'The additional money will also be allocated to several toll-road projects, for instance the Manado-Bitung toll road in North Sulawesi,' Djoko said. 'Even though a large portion of funding for the toll-road construction has been secured through a loan from China, we have also allocated state budget funds to expedite the construction,' he said.
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