Sun, 30 Dec 2001

Ahmad Junaidi The Jakarta Post Jakarta

The city administration has proposed a 2002 City Budget totaling Rp 8.8 trillion, with increased funding for the repression of disadvantaged people and for Governor Sutiyoso's wardrobe.

The proposed allocation of funds for public order operations is Rp 63 billion. This year, public order operations received Rp 45 billion, out of a total budget of Rp 8.1 trillion.

For Sutiyoso's wardrobe, the proposed allowance has been increased from Rp 40 million to Rp 65 million.

"With the planned increase in the budget for public order operations, City Governor Sutiyoso seems to be getting more repressive against poor people," chairman of the Jakarta Residents Forum (Fakta) Azas Tigor Nainggolan said on Wednesday.

After cracking down on thousands of becak (pedicab) in the city, the administration would likely use the money mostly for operations against street vendors, Tigor said.

He suggested that the Rp 63 billion be used to support poor people, such as by creating job opportunities, building community health centers and improving teachers' conditions.

It seems that Sutiyoso increased the budget allocation for the public order office because it has often received criticism over its failure to improve order in the city.

Public order officers recently raided hundreds of street vendors around the city, seizing and demolishing their belongings, including tents and kiosks.

The central government is expected to allocate funding for development projects of Rp 700 billion, the same as under the 2001 budget.

The city sanitation agency would receive Rp 195 billion for its routine expenditures, while an addition of Rp 60 billion would be allocated for the agency's development budget, which would include the fund to purchase new garbage trucks.

About Rp 5.51 trillion, or 62.2 percent of the 2002 budget, which was proposed by Sutiyoso on Thursday, would be used for public spending, while Rp 3.34 trillion or 37.7 percent would be used for routine expenditures.

This year's routine expenditure reached 70 percent of the Rp 8.1 trillion, while development spending was 30 percent.

Routine expenditures seem to have decreased significantly under next year's budget, but this does not necessarily reflect the city administration's concern for the public. In the 2002 budget, expenses that used to be categorized under routine expenditures would be included in public spending, such as maintenance of garbage trucks, hospitals and roads.

Meanwhile, the budget for Sutiyoso's official wardrobe would be increased from Rp 40 million to Rp 65 million, while his allowances for official trips, health and house maintenance would slightly decrease.

The proposed allowances for the 85 city councillors increase slightly to Rp 18.6 billion.