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Despite concerns, the new capital of Indonesia is proceeding as planned - government

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English -  Indonesia announced on Thursday that development of its proposed new capital is proceeding as scheduled...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - Indonesia announced on Thursday that development of its proposed new capital is proceeding as scheduled, despite the fact that some experts have thrown doubt on the viability of the $32 billion megaproject.

President Joko Widodo has prioritised the relocation of the capital city from the densely crowded metropolis of Jakarta to an underdeveloped territory on the island of Borneo.

A study of 170 specialists, including researchers, academics, professionals, businesses, journalists, bureaucrats, and legislators, revealed that 58.8 percent were sceptical that the project would materialise due to financial and managerial difficulties.

Monday's survey results were accompanied by a statement from the Indonesian Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) stating, "The level of pessimism among specialists is quite high."

Arya Fernandes, a CSIS researcher, remarked that a lack of confidence in the project's feasibility resulted from a lack of information regarding its funding and management.

Sidik Pramono, spokesman for the government authority established to oversee the relocation, stated that work was continuing as anticipated, with the construction of essential infrastructure, such as a dam, scheduled to commence later this year.

According to him, the CSIS poll is "inspiration for the new capital city authority to work harder."

In February, legislators questioned the timing of the initiative in light of the government's economic recovery and the COVID-19 outbreak.

The National Development Planning Agency of Indonesia predicts that 19% of the funding for the new capital Nusantara will come from the state budget, with the remainder coming from public-private partnerships and private investments.

Next year, the project will get between 27 and 30 trillion rupiah (up to $3.91 billion) from the state budget, as allotted by the finance ministry.

SoftBank confirmed in March that it will not invest in the capital, despite previous allegations that it had committed as much as $40 billion for the project. [L2N2VE0K9]

($1 = 14,560.0000 rupiah)

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