Thu, 10 Mar 2011

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Infrastructure development will be delayed this year due to a lack of funds. “Out of US$ 143 billion required, the government can only provide US$ 51 billion until 2014," said Fiscal Policy Board chief Bambang Brodjonegoro yesterday.

The fund has been allocated, among others, to procure land for toll road construction worth Rp315.30 billion for the Pasir Koja-Soreang, Pandaan-Malang, Serangan-Tanjung Benoa and Pekanbaru-Kandis-Dumai toll roads. For the Soekarno-Hatta-Manggarai Airport train project, Rp450 billion has been set aside. Even so, the government is still Rp1.05 trillion short.

To boost infrastructure development, Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) economist Edimon Ginting, suggested the government increase collaboration with private parties, especially in strategic sectors, while the country is at the gate of the Asian Community. If all of Indonesia’s areas are integrated into an economic corridor through good infrastructure, Indonesia will grow stronger, he said.

The ADB predicts that Indonesia will be on the list of the four strongest countries together with India, China and the US by 2050. He said the government was slow in providing facilities and guaranteeing infrastructure for private companies. Infrastructure development, he said, did not have an economic value in the short term.

Responding to Edimon, Bambang said the government had made some strategic steps in involving private companies, for instance by providing financial support through the Government Investment Center. There is also the Indonesian Infrastructure Guarantor company and PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur which are ready to assist investors in securing a project.

Emil Salim, a professor at the University of Indonesia’s (UI) school of economics, said the 2 percent deficit in Indonesia’s budget was still low. Ideally, to allow the economy to recover soon, the deficit should be 5 percent. “The high deficit will encourage the government to optimize budget usage,” he said.

Mada A. Tony Prasetiantono, head of the Economic Study Center at Gadjah Mada University, said ideally infrastructure expenses in the GDP should be 5 percent. “Because our GDP is Rp6.500 trillion, ideally it should be Rp325 trillion per year,” said Tony.