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Indonesia’s parliament approves $1 billion budget top-up for new capital

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s parliamentary budget committee has approved additional 15 trillion rupiah ($1.01 billion) to speed up construction of the flagship new capital Nusantara, a senior lawmaker said on Friday.

Said Abdullah, the committee’s chair, said the additional 15 trillion will go to this year’s construction, on top of the 22 trillion rupiah previously allocated for developing Nusantara on Borneo island in 2023.

“Therefore, in June (2024) the president can live there,” he told a hearing with the government’s senior ministers.

Indonesia is pushing to complete by mid 2024 the capital’s main administrative offices, including the presidential palace and key ministerial buildings, with at least 16,000 civil servants, military and police due to move there next year.

President Joko Widodo has pledged that only 20% of the total project’s cost of $32 billion will come from the government’s pocket with the rest from the private sector.

However, not a single investment deal has been signed as investors worry about the project’s feasibility and continuity despite the government offering incentives. Indonesia will hold an election in February 2024 when a new president must be chosen.

On Wednesday, Jokowi, as the president is known, pitched the capital to global investors in Singapore and promised the audience that any investment would have high returns. Jokowi finishes his second and final term next year.

($1 = 14,840.0000 rupiah)

(Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Martin Petty)

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