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Jakarta Post

Government pays $3.76b for land in 77 strategic projects

  • Adrian Wail Akhlas

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, June 29, 2020   /   06:02 pm
Government pays $3.76b for land in 77 strategic projects Cisumdawu toll road in West Java. (Public Works and Public Housing Ministry/Public Works and Public Housing Ministry)

The Finance Ministry’s State Asset Management Agency (LMAN) has reimbursed Rp 53.3 trillion (US$3.76 billion) owed to state-owned companies for land acquisition in 77 strategic national projects, including toll roads and irrigation systems, as of June 24.

The agency paid Rp 47.7 trillion for land acquisition in 40 toll road projects, Rp 3.5 trillion for 25 dam projects, Rp 1.3 trillion for seven railway projects and Rp 539 billion for a port project, LMAN president director Basuki Purwadi said on Friday.

“The government’s commitment to build infrastructure will continue as it does not only boost economic growth but also creates jobs and connects regions,” Basuki told reporters in an online press briefing, adding that the government was hoping to improve the reimbursement process.

The agency, which is responsible for the reimbursement of state-owned companies for land acquired in strategic national projects, has paid Rp 22.24 trillion to toll road operator PT Jasa Marga, Rp 11.88 trillion to construction company PT Waskita Karya and Rp 6.35 trillion to construction firm PT Hutama Karya.

Basuki said the agency had procured land worth a total of Rp 4.38 trillion from March 16 to June 24 – during the coronavirus pandemic. He said the agency would continue to reimburse funds to help companies endure depressed toll road traffic.

The government has said it will continue the development of strategic national projects during the COVID-19 health crisis with the addition of 89 projects with an estimated investment value of Rp 1.42 quadrillion.

Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto said recently that the new projects were an addition to the existing 223 strategic national projects and were expected to employ about 4 million additional workers each year from 2020 to 2024.

“The projects' development over the next five years is expected to involve a total of 19 million [workers],” Airlangga said.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has raised concerns over land acquisition for strategic national projects and has asked ministers to solve the problems quickly.

“I have received reports that the biggest obstacle [in strategic national projects] is land acquisition,” Jokowi said on May 29. He asked ministers to accelerate the projects to speed up the nation’s economic recovery.

Jokowi ordered the acceleration of programs that could fuel the economy, such as the land certification program, the transmigration land legalization program and the social forestry program. “I would like to ensure that these programs continue as planned,” he said.