Jakarta. President Joko Widodo’s first full year in office, presaged by pledges to spread development funding across the breadth of the country, has proven to be disappointingly Java-centric, an analyst says.
“Our findings show that over the past year, development remains concentrated on Java,” Dzulfian Syafrian, an economist with the think tank Institute for Development on Economics and Finance (Indef), said at a discussion in Jakarta on Friday.
“We can see [from GDP figures] that President Jokowi has not been able to address the problem of inequitable development. This is no different from the situation under previous administrations,” he added.
Citing data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPPS), Dzulfian said Java this year would account for 57.9 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product, with the plantation-heavy island of Sumatra contributing 22 percent.
Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo and by far the largest land mass in the archipelago, will only account for 9.1 percent of GDP – despite the proliferation of coal mines and oil palm plantations there – followed by Sulawesi at 5.6 percent, Bali and Nusa Tenggara (2.9 percent each) and Maluku and Papua (1.9 percent).
Dzulfian said that Joko, who came to office on Oct. 20 last year on promises to more distribute development funding more equitably across the country, had presided over a period of increasing economic uncertainty, with nearly a million more Indonesians falling into poverty during that time.
“Disparities concerning [access] to natural resources are worse than income disparities. These disparities exist because of policies that are not supportive of equitable development,” Dzulfian said.