Tue, 18 Mar 2003

Govt evises construction budget

JAKARTA: The city administration revised on Monday a previous statement on the expenditures for renovating and building school classrooms, saying that it was not Rp 412 million for each room as stated before, but Rp 202 million.

"We apologize for the wrong information released previously to the media and here is a correction," said Sukesti Martono, the head of the city agency overseeing secondary schools and higher education.

Sukesti was correcting a statement made by Nawawi, an official at his agency, who had said that Rp 21 billion had been allocated this year to build 51 classrooms for high schools and vocational schools in the city.

Sukesti said it was correct that the fund had allocated only Rp 11.3 billion for each school.

The revision of the figure was in response to strong public criticism over the possibility of markups inflating the figure as the majority of classrooms were poorly constructed or repaired. An activist estimated that each room should cost only Rp 170 million.

Councillors said that the revised figure was still too high. --JP