Autonomy council to be formed
BANDUNG: The government will establish a Regional Autonomy Advisory Council (DPOP) in June which will study a proposal to make West Java's Banten area a separate province.
State Minister of Regional Autonomy Ryaas Rasyid said over the weekend that the Banten issue would have first priority because the draft to declare Banten a separate province had already being discussed by the House of Representatives (DPR).
"Because the draft (for the Banten area) has been submitted to the House we have to deal with it first," Ryaas announced on Saturday.
Ryaas said the council would have the authority to examine and recommend the establishment of new provinces. So far the ministry has received proposals from five areas to be declared separate provinces and 65 areas to become new regencies.
To form a new province, the ministry has to ensure that the proposed area can increase the prosperity of the local people over the next 10 years.
"The new provinces should increase the prosperity of the people, not the political elite," Ryaas remarked.(25/dja)