Indonesia: ‘It’s final,’ minister says of capital relocation

  • The government is seriously considering a plan to move the capital city off Java, saying it would work to realize it within the next five years, a senior minister said.
  • National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said legislation would act as a legal basis to facilitate the relocation, while also proposing the establishment of a government agency to oversee the development of the new capital city.
  • President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo revived the decades-old idea to move the capital off Java in a limited Cabinet meeting in late Apr 19 following a preliminary study conducted by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) – a government agency headed by Bambang.
  • During the meeting, Bappenas presented three alternative scenarios: to maintain Jakarta as the capital city and consolidate government offices in the Medan Merdeka area of Central Jakarta, to move the capital outside of Jakarta to one of the nearby cities, or to move the capital off Java.
  • “Based on our recommendation, as well as the President’s decision, it was decided that we would go off Java and later we focused more on Kalimantan,” said Bambang.
  • Bambang said the final location would be announced by Jokowi in 2019, which would be followed up by a development masterplan and legal basis in 2020 and ground breaking by 2021.
  • Bambang said the relocation of the capital was a symbolic gesture to address the imbalances of the economic contributions and development between Java, on which most of the country’s population and economic activities are concentrated, and outside Java.
  • To further bring out the economic potential of the regions outside Java, Faisal said the government should focus on directing investments toward manufacturing, as well as to tourism in regions across the archipelago.
  • However, he urged the government to be cautious in planning the move, which was estimated to cost about IDR466tr (USD33.01bn), considering the state’s limited ability to finance it.

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