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 No Public Money Will Be Spent on High-Speed Railway, Jokowi Says

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BerichtOnderwerp: No Public Money Will Be Spent on High-Speed Railway, Jokowi Says   vr 4 sep 2015 - 1:31

The Jakarta Globe, Thursday 3 Sept. 2015

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo has vowed that no money will come out of the state budget to fund a multi-billion-dollar high-speed train line.

The planned Jakarta-Bandung line, Indonesia’s first ever high-speed railway project, will be funded entirely by private investors, with contractors from China and Japan competing for the project.

“Let me emphasize: when it comes to using the state budget, it is better for me to build railways in Sulawesi, Papua or Kalimantan instead,” Joko said in Jakarta on Thursday.

His statement came in response to criticism that the government was paying far too much focus on developing infrastructure on the island of Java instead of farming out projects to other, less developed regions, particularly in the country’s impoverished east.

Joko said the government, through the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry, would only commission the execution of the high-speed railway, and would not spend any money on it.

“I’ve handed over this investment business to the state enterprises minister,” he added.

The consulting team hired by the government to examine the Japanese and Chinese proposals for the project submitted to the government on Thursday the result of their evaluation.

Joko, however, refused to divulge the team’s recommendation.

The Japanese bidders’ latest offer is a 40-year loan at an interest rate of 0.1 percent to cover three quarter of the 140-kilometer track cost, as well as a 10-year grace period and a financing guarantee.

On the other hand, the Chinese have offered to cover the entire $5.5 billion cost with a 40-year loan at 2 percent interest.

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