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Nusantara authority body heads exit, leaving questions ahead of capital move

Jakarta Globe - June 3, 2024

Mita Amalia Hapsari, Bella Evanglista, Jakarta – Bambang Susantono, the head of the Nusantara Capital Authority Body (OIKN), and his deputy, Dhony Rahajoe, have resigned from their positions just two months before the inauguration of Indonesia's future capital.

To fill the vacant roles, Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Minister Basuki Hadimuljono and Deputy Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Raja Juli Antoni will serve as acting heads.

State Secretary Minister Pratikno at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday said that Bambang and Dhony submitted their resignations several weeks ago, but did not specify the reasons. The presidential decree regarding their dismissal was issued today.

"The reasons were not stated in the resignation letter," said Pratikno.

Indonesia is currently racing against time to build Nusantara as President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo plans to start working from the nation's new capital this July. He also aims to celebrate Indonesia's Independence Day on August 17 in the yet-to-be-built capital.

Despite the leadership change, Basuki assured that Nusantara's development would proceed as planned, with progress reaching 80 percent. President Jokowi plans to visit Nusantara on Monday, staying at the ministers' official residence that has been completed.

"As acting head of the Nusantara authority body, the tasks that need to be addressed include expediting investment and land acquisition," said Basuki.

He explained that President Jokowi instructed the clearing of 2,086 hectares of Nusantara land, to be carried out in accordance with Social and Community Impact Handling (PDSK).

"The president's directive regarding the 2,086 hectares of land has been done before in other projects. The president's directive is to solve it as best as possible. If possible, the development should remain in those areas. If not, Nusantara will have to give in," explained Basuki.

Basuki added that Raja, who is second in charge of the nation's spatial planning, was chosen as his deputy to expedite land acquisition. "We will soon decide on the land status in Nusantara, whether to sell, rent, or establish a Public Private Partnership," Basuki continued.

Regarding land issues, Basuki said he wanted to expedite the process of determining land status so that investors would no longer hesitate to invest.

"Because with clearer land status, their legal status as investors in Nusantara will also be clearer," Basuki added.

Indonesia is relocating its capital from the congested metropolis of Jakarta to East Kalimantan. The bold plan, requiring a total investment of $33 billion, is set to heavily rely on private funding, with the government planning to fund only 20 percent of the total construction costs.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/nusantara-authority-body-heads-exit-leaving-questions-ahead-of-capital-mov