Mon, 22 Feb 2010

From: The Jakarta Post

By Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Governors have been given more administrative powers in supervising regents and mayors in their day-to-day activities including in settling disputes over overlapping mining areas, Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi has said.

Gamawan said in Jakarta on Thursday that a new government regulation issued on Tuesday gave governors a bigger role in the supervision of budgets, development plans and programs at regency and municipal levels.

“[For example] governors can question [regents and mayors] if there is discrepancy, or something wrong, during the process of issuing permits [required for making investment],” he said after the announcement of winning regional champions in investment climate improvements at the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) office.

He said the regulation gave greater powers to governors to settle disputes over overlapping mining areas in their respective provinces. “There was confusion recently over 7,000 mining rights issued by regents,” he said, adding that with the new regulation, governors would have the authority to settle potential disputes which could arise because of overlapping mining areas.

Governors, he said, are also allowed under the regulation to punish regents and mayors found guilty of administrative irregularities when issuing permits.

He said governors often complained over the absence of regents and mayors in coordinating meetings. “In this case, a governor is allowed to suspend a budget [for his regents or mayors] if regents fail to come [to a coordinating meeting] three times,” said Gamawan.

Despite greater powers given to governors, the regulation does not affect the autonomous powers of regents or mayors, he said. “Permit issuance is for example still handled by regency or municipal administrations. The principle of [regional] autonomy remains unchanged,” said Gamawan.

He said the regulation was also expected to create more harmonized relations between regency and city administrations and provincial administrations, as well as with central government.

During the event, BKPM head Gita Wirjawan said his office had named seven provinces “regional champions” in attracting inward investment.

The winners include Riau, South Sumatra, West Java, East Java, East Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara and Papua.

“These seven provinces have done a lot to create a more conducive climate for investment.

We also judge them based on respective regional heads’ enthusiasm in inviting investment,” said Gita.

In attempts to cut red-tape to facilitate investment, the central government also urged regional
administrations to adopt a one-stop service system, said Gita. The government would provide all necessary assistance for regional administrations to establish such a system.