Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has given Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan additional responsibilities with a new presidential regulation (Perpres) vesting greater authority in the office of an already powerful minister.
Perpres No. 71/2019, which was signed on Oct. 24 and replaces a 2015 regulation on the office of the coordinating maritime affairs minister, Luhut's office is given a new mandate to keep an eye on national priority programs and other policies adopted in Cabinet meetings.
The office is also bestowed with the authority to settle unresolved issues stemming from deadlock among ministries or other state institutions to ensure government policies are enforced.
The new regulation places three more institutions under the coordinating minister's authority, namely the Public Works and Housing Ministry, the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and the Environment and Forestry Ministry, which previously were under the Office of the Coordinating Economic Ministry.
With the additional three institutions, Luhut's office now oversees six ministries and the BKPM.
Luhut, who has backed Jokowi's administration since its inception in 2014, retains his position in the President's second-term Cabinet, albeit with some additional tasks to solve investment bottleneck.
"Making Indonesia the global maritime fulcrum as well as addressing investment barriers and realizing big investment commitments will be in [Luhut's] hands," Jokowi said when announcing Luhut's role in the Indonesia Onward Cabinet.
Luhut has held talks with potential big-ticket infrastructure investors from China, the US and United Arab Emirates to make sure Indonesia is targeted for massive global funding programs that include China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the US' International Development Finance Corporation and the UAE's Mubadala.
The senior Golkar Party politician previously served as Jokowi's presidential chief of staff as well as coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister, before taking the mantle of coordinating maritime affairs minister until the end of Jokowi's first presidential term. (afr)