Indonesia halts capital relocation to focus on COVID-19 combat

Indonesia's plan to invest in a mega project to relocate its capital city has been put on hold, as the country shifts focus to containing the COVID-19, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.

27, Apr. 2020

Photo by Dony Wardhana on Unsplash
Photo by Dony Wardhana on Unsplash

HANOI, VNA - Indonesia's plan to invest in a mega project to relocate its capital city has been put on hold, as the country shifts focus to containing the COVID-19, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.

The investment may resume next year, she noted.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo's 33-billion-USD project to relocate the capital of Southeast Asia's largest economy out of the main Java island to the island of Borneo has yet to be approved by the parliament.

However, the government had already allotted some funds for land acquisition this year.

The public-works ministry, which is responsible for the project, has reallocated most of its spending, including the portion allocated for infrastructure projects, for the COVID-19 outbreak response, Indrawati said in an online conference.

The ministry has shifted its budget to upgrade hospitals, including expenditure related to the new capital city, she added.

Jakarta, the current capital, is now home to 10 million people and is prone to floods and traffic gridlock as well as faces the risk of earthquakes.

Among other reasons, the East Kalimantan site was selected since it is a well-known part of the country that is least prone to natural disasters. - VNA