The Jakarta Post
The government says it will closely monitor and make sure 30 priority infrastructure projects across the country will finish within the next four years to help boost economic growth.
According to a blueprint from the acceleration committee, the priority projects will be constructed in the 2015-2019 period with a total investment of Rp 819.41 trillion.
Luky Eko Wuryanto, who chairs the Committee of Infrastructure Priorities Development Acceleration (KPPIP), said most of the priority projects would be carried out through public-private partnerships or assignments to state-owned enterprises.
The projects listed as priority projects are those that have an investment value of more than Rp 500 billion (US$37.2 million) and will significantly contribute to the country's gross domestic product (GDP), among other criteria.
Among the projects in the priority list are the development of eight segments of the Trans-Sumatra toll road, Kuala Tanjung International Airport, the light rail transit (LRT) projects in South Sumatra and Greater Jakarta, an oil refinery in Tuban, East Java, and the Palapa Ring broadband.
Luky said on Wednesday his committee had selected the 30 projects from a pool of more than 1,000 proposed projects. Those priority projects are part of the 225 national strategic projects previously announced by President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo.
'We've coordinated with concerned ministries and departments in deciding which sectors to be included in the priority list,' Luki said.
According to an assessment by the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas), the total investment needs for the 2015-2019 period amount to Rp 4.8 quadrillion, of which national and regional budgets can only cover Rp 1.98 quadrillion.
Luky said both priority and strategic projects would enjoy similar facilities and privileges for the sake of their acceleration, as stipulated in Presidential Regulation No. 3/2016.
Among the facilities and privileges are easier permit processing, land acquisition and government guarantees.
National Development Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil said the government had already secured $150 million in multilateral loans to support infrastructure development in the country. 'With the $150 million, we can prepare projects worth up to $30 billion,' he said.
Infrastructure has long been a major factor in turning back investors considering to set up businesses in the country, as poor transportation systems or communication networks or inadequate energy supply drive up business costs.
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said travelling times in Indonesia were twice as great as in Thailand and Malaysia.
The electrification rate in Indonesia, meanwhile, was only 84 percent, compared to nearly 100 percent in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, he added.
'It [infrastructure problems] has been long neglected, but the current administration takes a firm stance in boosting infrastructure development, as it is not only a pillar for our economic growth,' he said.
Darmin added that good infrastructure would also be a tool for 'withstanding' the global economic slowdown.
A recent survey organized by the British Chamber of Commerce (BritCham) revealed that the percentage of European senior executives in Indonesia who were concerned about a lack of skilled labor, poor infrastructure and corruption dropped significantly, namely by 17 percent, 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from the 2014 survey.
The findings point to improved business confidence in response to the government's continuous commitment to improve the country's infrastructure.
Darmin said the establishment of the KPPIP in 2014 was a right decision to ensure good planning for every infrastructure project in the country.
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