Muawman Daelami, Jakarta – The government has been working on the new capital city project despite the Covid-19 pandemic that has put much of the fieldwork on the backburner, Nicodemus Daud, the director of institutional and construction resources at the Public Works and Housing Ministry, said on Monday.
"We have secured an additional fund to expand [the infrastructure] works in the new capital next year. Even during the pandemic, the new capital project is still on," Nicodemus said.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo unveiled the $33 billion project in 2019, aiming to move the capital from Jakarta to a new area that traverses the Kutai Kertanegara and North Penajam Paser districts in East Kalimantan by 2024, just before his second term ended.
The new capital would occupy a total area of around 180,000 hectares. The government would shoulder 19 percent of the new capital cost and expect local and foreign investors to chip in for the rest.
"We do not stop working on the design process. Currently, we are finalizing the city's design. We hope that the Covid-19 Pandemic would end soon so that the fieldwork can start," Nicodemus said.
The ministry estimated that the government and investors would need to spend Rp 256 trillion over the next four years to build infrastructures in the new capital. The government said earlier that Rp 10.9 trillion would be needed for the constructions this year. Some of it would come from the state budget. It decided to put it on hold and shift the fund to finance its $48-billion economic stimulus to counter the pandemic's economic slump.
The Public Works and Housing Ministry get Rp 150 trillion in the next year's budget, mainly for the new capital and other infrastructures, including Indonesia's food security and disaster resilience program.
Nicodemus said the plan would spur demand for building materials like cement and steel and ask for the local supply chain industry's readiness.