Sat, 26 Apr 2008
Batulicin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the exercising of regional autonomy (OTDA) powers and the creation of new provinces or districts should lead to clear benefits for the people and not be done only to imitate others.

"We intend to accelerate national development by implementing regional autonomy which will later be beneficial for the people," he said at a function to observe the 12th anniversary of OTDA here on Friday.

The president and his entourage arrived here on Thursday also to present funds for the implementation of the people`s empowerment program in the integrated economic development zone of Batulicin.

He said regional autonomy which has been in existence for more than 10 years needed to evaluated periodically to improve its implementation.

"In regional autonomy, regional administrations have to become close to the people and thus there should be improvements in the public services," he added.

He also called on all heads of administration in new provinces, districts and municipalities resulting from the regional expansion to have better sensitivity and ability to grab economic opportunities for their regions.

"Heads of the regional administrations should not function as administrators only but (they) should also be able to function as motivators. However, they should remain accountable and responsible to the people," he added.

He further ordered all the district heads and mayors to encourage their peoples to adopt more economical life-styles, mainly in consuming energy, including electricity, fuel oil and water.

"Some of the people are already doing it but some have yet to start it, please encourage them to do so," he added.

President Yudhoyono also encouraged each region to have a high competitive edge for its local products, including the creative industry such as handicraft.

"Increase the quality and the design of the handicraft products to enable them to get access in foreign market," he said.

On the occasion, the head of state was accompanied by Mrs. Ani Yudhoyono, State Secretary Hatta Radjasa, Minister for Public Works Djoko Kirmanto, Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi, South Kalimantan Governor Rudy Arifin, and Head of the Tanah Bumbu District, Zairullah Azhar.

The President is also slated to open an expo of local products.(*)



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