Lenny Tristia Tambun
The approval for this year’s Jakarta provincial budget has been delayed again due to the decision to revise its estimated budget surplus, according to a regional council member.
Triwisaksana, deputy speaker of the Jakarta Regional Representatives Council (DPRD), said that the city is likely to add an estimated Rp 900 billion ($93.3 million) to the budget surplus, taking the total to Rp 9.2 trillion.
The changes, Triwisaksana said, are likely to affect the overall budget proposal, known as RAPBD, and the city’s budget for priority programs, known as KUA PPAS.
“With changes to the KUA PPAS and the RAPBD, the approval for the RAPBD will become longer,” he said. “[The city] has not submitted the changes to us. With the changes to [the budget surplus] the RAPBD will grow to Rp 50.8 trillion.”
Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo confirmed that there will be changes to the budget surplus and that those funds will be used to implement another priority program help alleviate the capital’s notorious traffic and flooding problems along with adding more open spaces.
“Especially for green spaces. We are trying to catch up to the 30 percent [of total city area] required by law. To do that we must buy land,” Joko said.
Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi has reprimanded Joko for failing to finalize the 2013 city budget on time.
Gamawan also reprimanded Ferial Sofyan, the speaker of the Jakarta City Council, over the prolonged deliberations, which were expected to be finished before Nov. 30, 2012.
Reydonnyzar Moenek, a spokesman for the Home Affairs Ministry, said Gamawan recently sent Joko and Ferial a warning letter for violating a 2005 government regulation on the issue.
“[The budget] should have been passed on time so that social and infrastructure developments can proceed as they should,” Reydonnyzar said last week.
He added that the censure was simply in the form of a reminder, and that the ministry would keep pressing the city to finalize its budget by February at the latest.
Joko said deliberations were prolonged because city legislators had asked for more details on programs and projects in the draft budget. These include the planned procurement of public buses and the Jakarta Health Card program, which aims to support medical services for the poor.
Another factor is the fact that the 2013 budget was originally drawn up by the previous governor, Fauzi Bowo, and was submitted to the City Council before Joko came into office.
The original budget was set at Rp 44 trillion but Joko was keen on revising some of the governmental programs and wanted to add a few of his own.
The administration also attributed the delay to the council’s repeated stonewalling of its spending plan, which was supposed to have been signed by Oct. 29, 2012, as a prerequisite for deliberations of the 2013 budget to begin.
The spending plan was approved by the council on Dec. 7.
The deliberations were expected to finish by mid-January. However, with the latest changes it is now uncertain when the proposed budget will be approved.