Jayapura – The government announced Sunday that it would halt the establishment of new administrative regions in Papua as the current ones had yet to improve people's welfare.
"The establishment of new [administrative] regions will be postponed to avoid a greater burden on the state budget," said Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo as quoted by Antara, who was in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's entourage celebrating Christmas in Papua at the weekend.
Tjahjo said a review of the performance of new administrative regions in the country had shown that 60 percent of them did not have the ability to manage their natural resources and generate local revenues.
"As [new administrations] cannot increase local revenues, they cannot improve equal development and people's welfare, thus becoming a burden on the central government," said the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician.
Papua currently consists of two provinces, Papua and West Papua, with dozens of cities and regencies. Their failure to improve the welfare of residents had prompted requests to split the regions into smaller administrative areas.