BTV, Jakarta – The central government's takeover of roadworks from the regional authorities is in line with the decentralization principle, according to Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono.
The comment followed President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's instruction to the ministry to take charge of the roadworks in Lampung after the sub-national government failed to do their job.
The central government would be ready to lend a hand to the sub-national authorities if the latter feels an infrastructure project is too hard for them, Basuki said.
"If we speak of decentralization on irrigation, the central government would take charge of the project if it spans more than 3,000 hectares. If it is around 2,000-3,000 hectares, that would be the provincial government's responsibility," Basuki said in an exclusive interview with the BTV news network in Jakarta on Monday.
"Any [irrigation projects of] less than 2,000 hectares would go to the district or city government," Basuki said.
This takeover does not only apply to infrastructure projects. Basuki said that the central government would do the same if the sub-national governments struggle with natural disaster handling.
According to Basuki, the sub-national government's inability to repair their roads led to the issuance of the 2023 presidential instruction on expediting regional road connectivity. The central government would also take over the project if the road conditions have bothered the locals.
"I think Mr. President has made it clear on the criteria. ... [So we would take over] if it troubles the people and hampers logistics. We are aware of how road conditions can affect logistic costs and raise inflation. If we feel the situation is dire, the central government will take charge," Basuki said.