Mon, 08 Nov 1999

Parking agency needs Rp 3b subsidy: Official

JAKARTA (JP): City parking management agency BP Parkir still needs a Rp 3 billion (US$441,176) subsidy in the 1999/2000 fiscal year from the city administration to cover operational expenses, an official said on Friday.

BP Parkir head Yani Mulyadi said the money was needed to cover the shortfall from expenditures of Rp 10.2 billion and revenues of Rp 7.2 billion for the current fiscal year.

"We admit that BP Parkir is unsound. Many people criticize us as a bad firm, but for the time being we can do nothing to contribute a share to the city's income."

He said Rp 7 billion of the expenditure was earmarked for wages for the agency's 1,189 permanent workers and 2,138 temporary workers.

The remaining Rp 3.2 billion would be used to buy new street signs and parking attendants' equipment, including new uniforms, he added.

Yani blamed the deficit on a "lack of coordination".

"There are still leakages in parking revenue as parking attendants took most of the income and reported only half of it."

He said the agency calculated that a parking attendant submitted between Rp 6,000 and Rp 10,000 a day, while the actual total was closer to Rp 20,000 and Rp 30,000.

To avoid more losses, Yani said, the agency would offer retirement to workers 56 years and older. The retirement age is 55 but many employees continue to work.

"We are thinking of providing appropriate compensation since they are not civil servants." He declined to mention the number of workers included in the retirement offer.

He said the agency estimated revenue of Rp 24 billion in the 2000/20001 fiscal year but he did not state expected expenditure for the next fiscal year.

He said parking fees would be increased to between Rp 500 and Rp 1,000 from the current rate of between Rp 300 and Rp 500, starting on Jan. 1, 2000.

"We will also launch a sympathy campaign in which our parking attendants will be required to improve their behavior, such as greeting motorists."

He said the city administration was planning to invite private investors to manage the city's parking, hoping that the investors could contribute to the city's income.

The request for the subsidy was challenged by councilor M. Agus Darmawan of the National Mandate Party.

"It doesn't make any sense. I have never found parking agencies suffering losses in other countries," said the member of the council's commission B for economics affairs.

He agreed with a proposal for the parking management to be handed over to private firms if BP Parkir could not contribute to the city's income.

He regretted that BP Parkir administrators repeatedly blaming the parking attendants for loss of income instead of admitting their inability to manage the agency.

He said the behavioral campaign would not solve the problem in the parking agency.

Governor Sutiyoso earlier asked the parking body to improve its performance, warning he would no longer provide a subsidy. (jun)