Mardika Parama, Jakarta – The Public Works and Housing Ministry aims to expedite the construction of regional border crossings and their supporting facilities, such as roads and markets, to boost the local economy.
Public Works Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said on Thursday that the government had allocated Rp 2.27 trillion (US$153.7 million) to construct 11 cross-border posts (PLBN) by the end of 2021. The border crossings are located in the Riau Islands, West Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara and Papua.
Of the 11 border crossings, Basuki said only one – in Sota district, Merauke, Papua – had been completed, while the rest were scheduled to be completed by December 2021.
"We didn't develop the border region to project our power but rather to help built economic and cultural centers for local residents," he said in a statement on Thursday.
The government is building 1,910 kilometers of roads in the frontier regions of Kalimantan. About 84 km remain to be completed, according to ministry data. The government is also building 179 km of roads at border regions in East Nusa Tenggara and 919 km of roads in Papua.
House of Representatives Commission V overseeing infrastructure and transportation approved the Public Works and Housing Ministry's 2021 budget of Rp 149.8 trillion on Sept. 15, a 42 percent increase from this year's allocation.
The largest portion of the budget, Rp 58.4 trillion, has been allocated for water resource infrastructure, followed by connectivity with Rp 53.9 trillion and housing with Rp 26.5 trillion.
The ministry will focus on six priority programs next year, namely food security, connectivity development, public health development, attracting investment in strategic regions, providing a social safety net through labor-intensive projects and disaster mitigation enhancement.
"We are fully committed to carrying out our duty and fulfilling our target, which has been assigned under the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN), the ministry's strategic plan, the President's directive and the national strategic program including the House's aspirations," Basuki said.