President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo takes a selfie with his fans. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Jokowi's Plan to Relocate Indonesian Capital May Cost $33b

APRIL 30, 2019

Jakarta. The government's plan to move the Indonesian capital out of Java has broken the internet, garnering seemingly equal amount of support and derisions on social media. One upside from this is that the issue seems to have overshadowed the fallout from the presidential election that has dominated online chatter in the past two weeks. 

On Tuesday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo upped the buzz by quizzing netizens on Twitter on where the next Indonesian capital should be:


Some of the top cities mentioned in people's answers to the president's question were Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan – also the city that the late President Soekarno envisioned as Indonesia's capital back in the 1960s, Bangka Belitung in Riau Islands and Denpasar in Bali. 

National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said earlier the government already has a set criteria for the new capital, including that it should be located somewhere in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago, is relatively safe from natural disasters, have top-class infrastructures, have plenty of free land for the government to acquire easily—and cheaply, and is a safe distance away from border areas.  

Bambang expects moving the capital would cost the government around Rp 466 trillion ($33 billion). 

"The money can come from four sources: state budget, state-owned enterprises, public-private partnership and the private sector," Bambang said on Monday. 

Money from the state budget will be used to build new government offices and a new parliament building. State-owned enterprises will work together to build key infrastructure and public facilities.

Other infrastructure and public facilities will be built using public-private partnership schemes. Pure private financing will be poured on residential property and commercial facility projects.

Private businesses can also secure concessions from the government to buy land or properties in the new capital, generating income for the state, Bambang said. 

How much land is required to build the new capital will depend on how many civil servants will make the exodus from Jakarta. If every one of them moves to the new capital, the government will need to free up at least 40,000 hectares of land. But if only some of them make the great migration, they will need only 30,000 hectares.