Mon, 31 Oct 1994

Stricter control urged on foreign-funded projects

JAKARTA (JP): The National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) will impose stricter control on foreign-funded projects in next fiscal year.

Rahardi Ramelan, a deputy chairman of the board, said that the stricter control is essential to avoid deviation from development priorities as set out in the government's blue book.

"The development plans are often ignored. Their implementation is often against the government's blue book," he told reporters following a meeting with representatives of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) here on Friday.

He acknowledged that the deviation of development priorities is not solely caused by the lack of discipline on the part of ministerial offices as the operators of the projects, but also by external factors such as pressure from project financiers or their consultants.

"Such changes often, in certain circumstance, take place because of the pressure from financiers of those projects and sometimes due to the recommendation of their consultants," he said.

Rahardi said that in the future changes in project priorities will be no longer tolerated to guarantee that all projects are in line with the government's planning.

In order to avoid further mistakes, a project proposal will be approved only if it is well prepared and supported by an adequate feasibility study.

"We don't want a loan to be issued long before a project commences," he said.

The bank's officials discussed the progress of ADB-financed projects in the country during the meeting.

Rahardi said that the discussion, which he described as a just routine meeting, was aimed at further synchronizing the bank's future loans to Indonesia's development priorities.

The bank, which pledged to provide a loan of US$1.2 billion for the current 1994/95 fiscal year during the July meeting of the Consultative Group for Indonesia, committed to further participate in the country's development efforts in the coming years, he said.(hen)