Sat, 18 Mar 2000

City Council likely to endorse proposed budget

JAKARTA (JP): The City Council will likely endorse the draft 2000 fiscal year budget of Rp 3.29 trillion (US$438 million) as none of the council's five commissions are opposed to the city administration's proposed financial plan.

A receptive atmosphere was observed at a plenary meeting at the City Council building, which was also attended by Governor Sutiyoso.

Chairman of Commission A on Administrative Affairs Binsar Tambunan, who read his commission's evaluation report on the draft budget, only asked the city administration to allow councillors a greater role in the city's budget design, a move that would grant the councillors the right to propose their own draft budgets.

"We expect city councillors will see a greater involvement in drafting the budget," Tambunan said in a prepared speech.

Tambunan, who is a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) faction, also asked the city administration to keep the allocated budget of more than Rp 12 billion for the subdistrict councils.

"Although the City Bylaw on Subdistrict Councils was postponed, we ask the city administration to secure the budget and to get the City Council's approval before relocating the budget," he said.

Councillor Dani Anwar of Commission B on Economic Affairs questioned the proposed city revenue from city-owned enterprises of more than Rp 19 billion, when compared to more than Rp 33 billion of the 1999/2000 budget.

"It means the city administration will have to intensify revenue from taxes and retributions to compensate for the loss," he said.

Commenting on the presence of street vendors, Dani, who is a member of the Justice Party (PK) faction, said Commission B expected the city administration would handle the problem efficiently.

"Street vendors have created opportunities for themselves during the economic crisis, although they have caused inconvenience to residents," he said.

Chairman of Commission C on Financial Affairs Amarullah Asbah of the Golkar Party faction, expected the city administration would immediately submit a city draft bylaw on the city's asset management to enable the council to have tighter control over the assets.

Sayogo Hendrosubroto, who chairs Commission D on Development Affairs, asked the city administration to pay more attention to the public transportation sector.

"The city administration must regularly maintain the city's streets in order to prevent damage," he said.

"We also urge the city administration to improve the city's parking management to provide a better service to residents," he added, while citing private sector's involvement as an alternative.

Commission E on Social Welfare Affairs member Mulyono expected the city administration to concentrate on measures to alleviate poverty and recover impacts of the economic crisis.

"The budget limitation forces city administration officials to be able to understand the hardship of residents," he said.

City councillors are slated to pass the proposed budget at another plenary meeting next Friday. (nvn)