Sat, 27 Dec 2003

'Use idle budget to build homes for evictees'

Many urban activists have criticized development in the capital, as it focuses more on decorative projects rather than infrastructure development and the welfare of the people. The budget performance is worse -- only 60 percent of the Rp 2.24 trillion (US$263 million) earmarked for development projects in the 2003 city budget was used.

The Jakarta Post talked to some Jakartans on what should have been done with the idle money.

Ajar Aedi, 26, works at a private company on Jl. Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta. He is single and lives in Kebayoran Lama Selatan:

Such meager spending shows that the city administration's agencies have a very poor performance. But this is nothing new because it's the same story every year.

Officials blamed changes in the budget structure for the poor spending, but this is not acceptable because they should have anticipated the changes.

Because of their failure to develop the city as they should have this year, the residents will suffer more. For example, the sanitation agency has failed to provide waste processing and treatment facilities. As consequence, garbage is scattered throughout all corners of the capital.

Yuki, 24, is in his final year at the University of Indonesia, majoring in financial management. He lives in Joglo, West Jakarta, with his family:

What happened to the remaining 40 percent? Did it go into the officials' pockets? As far as I know, the city administration must spend its entire budget by the end of the year, even if they have to use the money for "administrative trips".

There hasn't been much development in Jakarta recently, probably because the city is overdeveloped. But I must say that the design of the city is awful. Traffic jams all over the city and evictions have become inevitable day-to-day experiences.

The area where I live was designed as a residential area, but there office buildings are sprouting left and right, and cause traffic congestion.

Any way, why didn't they use the rest of the budget to build shelters or new homes for the evictees? After all, they're human beings, you know. The administration should be held responsible!

-- The Jakarta Post