The government will soon release the long-awaited list of national strategic projects to give clear guidance to investors on priority infrastructure projects to be carried out under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration, a senior official has said.
Luky Eko Wuryanto, deputy minister for infrastructure acceleration and regional development at the Coordinating Economic Ministry, said in Jakarta on Wednesday that the list would be part of a Presidential decree on the acceleration of national strategic projects that would be issued later this month.
He said that more than 500 infrastructure projects under various ministries had been proposed for inclusion on the list.
“But we are only going to select around 100 projects,” he said in a discussion, titled “Infrastructure: Rethinking Bureaucracy and the Legal/Policy Framework”, which was jointly held by state infrastructure financing firm PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur and The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
“Many of them are related to electricity works, smelters, dams and roads. We will analyze projects that are facing obstacles in their implementation and those that are urgently needed. They will be the ones to prioritize,” he said.
The government’s 35,000-megawatt power plant development program would also be included in the list, Luky added.
The planned Presidential decree will include a ruling which will help ease obstacles which often hamper infrastructure projects such as those related to difficulties in land acquisition, so that the so called strategic projects could be completed on schedule.
According to Luky, the regulation will also provide an incentive for people, whose land is acquired by the government for projects. “They will be exempt from taxes on transfer of land and building transfer,” he added.
The upcoming Presidential decree will also clearly state the authority and responsibility of the officials in charge of the projects so that they can make a quick decision with no risk of facing legal suits.
During the discussion, participants mostly comprising senior executives of infrastructure-related companies called for the government to establish a clear policy and ease overlapping regulations in infrastructure development.
Emma Sri Martini, president director of the SMI, said that planning was especially important for investors.
“We get a lot of funding offers from investors, but they are concerned because there is nothing backing it up. The plan is not well-thought-out, therefore the project is not running as it should,” she said.
The fears of government officials in charge of being taken to court were also raised during the discussion.
Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto acknowledged that the fear of being prosecuted had prevented many officials or policymakers from taking important decisions that could expedite the projects.
His view was shared by Chevron Geothermal Indonesia as well. The company’s general manager for policy, government and public affairs, Paul Mustakim, said that such fears would hold back many projects and result in nothing in the end.
Meanwhile, Darmawan Prasodjo, the deputy for priority program development control at the Office of the Presidential Staff, assured businesspeople that “help is on the way”, citing the current deregulation process taking place across ministries and agencies.
“Please be patient, we are working hard to remove many business obstacles but the measures will take some time. We will revise more regulations in the near future,” he said –
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