The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has pledged a commitment to monitoring the development in Papua and West Papua provinces, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said on Tuesday.
"The President has decided to visit Papua once every three or four months to monitor the progress of development," he said, adding that Cabinet ministers had also committed to visiting the easternmost region, where rights violations are common.
He said one of the government's commitments to developing Papua was to allocate funds in the national budget for the resource-rich region.
Tedjo condemned those who said Jakarta had so far only tapped Papua's resources. "Indeed, Papua contributes a total of Rp 10 trillion (US$757 million) in funds to the budget. However, a total of Rp 35 trillion has also been allocated in the budget for Papua. So, actually, we have paid 'excess'. But so far, only the Rp 10 trillion has been highlighted," he said.
The minister added that several efforts had been undertaken to accelerate development in Papua, but had yet to be widely reported in the media. (++++)
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