The planning minister said on Tuesday that Indonesia’s parliament has passed a bill to transfer the country’s capital from Jakarta to a jungled section of Kalimantan on Borneo island.
The new state capital legislation, which establishes a legislative basis for President Joko Widodo’s $32 billion megaprojects, lays out how the capital will be financed and managed.
“The new capital has a vital purpose and serves as a symbol of the nation’s identity as well as a new economic centre,” Suharso Monoarfa, the planning minister, told parliament after the measure was approved into law on Tuesday.
Mr. Monoarfa revealed on Monday that the new centre would be called “Nusantara,” a Javanese word for the Indonesian archipelago chosen by the president.
Several presidents have proposed plans to move the government from Jakarta, a busy megacity of 10 million people plagued by chronic traffic, floods, and air pollution, but none has made it this far.
The idea was initially presented by Mr. Jokowi, as the president is called, in 2019, but progress was delayed by the pandemic.
The new capital has been envisioned by Southeast Asia’s biggest economy as a low-carbon “superhub” that would assist the pharmaceutical, health, and technology industries, as well as foster sustainable development beyond Java Island.
However, opponents claim that the bill was pushed through with little public input or consideration of the environment.
Nusantara, which follows the construction of new capitals in nations such as Brazil and, more recently, Myanmar, will be managed by a chief authority with the status of a minister, according to Saan Mustofa, deputy chair of the bill’s special committee.
According to local media sources, former science and technology minister Bambang Brodjonegoro and Jakarta’s former governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok, are among those being considered for the role.
Source: The Hindu