The Indonesian Parliament Approved a Bill on a New Capital Officially, Allowing Building to Begin

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On Tuesday, the Indonesian parliament passed a bill pertaining to the country’s proposed new capital in eastern Kalimantan (Jan 18).

This means that building on the new capital can begin as soon as 2024, when the present capital of Jakarta will be decommissioned.

Puan Maharani, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, asked parliamentarians in parliament if the draft law on the new capital could be accepted and signed into law.

The bill was overwhelmingly supported during the meeting, with only the Prosperous Justice Party voting against it.

According to the bill, the new capital would be called Nusantara, as stated by Suharso Monoarfa, Minister of National Development Planning, on Monday.

Mr Monoarfa claimed that the president instructed and confirmed the name Nusantara, which means archipelago in Indonesian.

Mr Monoarfa went on to explain why the name was chosen in parliament on Tuesday.

“Nusantara” refers to a concept of Indonesia’s geographical territory, which is made up of islands connected by the sea.

It recognizes geographical diversity as well as (different) civilizations. As a result, Nusantara is a coherent notion that encompasses Indonesia’s wealth and diversity,” Mr Monoarfa explained.

He also stated that the new capital will be controlled by a regional government that is comparable to that of a province.

Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani said there are five steps to developing the new capital at a news conference in parliament shortly after the Bill was enacted. The first stage, from 2022 to 2024, she claimed, was the most crucial. By 2045, the last step must be completed.

In the initial stage, officials will concentrate on the most critical initiatives, such as constructing roads and, if necessary, ports to provide access to the new location.

“We will concentrate on the priorities from 2022 through 2024… We recognize that we are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, and we will continue to focus on these issues. However, new capital development can also be classified as a project for economic recovery “Mdm Mulyani stated.

President Joko Widodo said in 2019 that the country’s capital would be relocated from megacity Jakarta to the distant regencies of Penajam Paser Utara and Kutai Kartanegara in East Kalimantan province.

Authorities argue the move is necessary to save Jakarta, which is sinking and congested, and to develop Kalimantan and the eastern half of Indonesia, because most of the country’s economic activity has been concentrated in Java, where the existing capital is located.

The 466 trillion rupiah (US$32 billion) major capital project was planned to begin building in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, led officials to halt the project.

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