Govt prioritizes border area development

Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - The government will give priority to the accelerated development of border areas in the next three years, Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said.

"There are 187 sub-districts or points in border areas categorized as priority locations this year. They are located near the Indonesian borders with Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Malaysia," he said at a get-together with officials from throughout Southeast Sulawesi province on Friday night.

These areas have served as entry points for smuggling drugs into Indonesia along small paths along the borders, he noted.

"Nearly 49 tiny paths along border areas are currently used as entry points for drugs coming into Indonesia. Even foreign nationals use the tiny paths to enter the country illegally," he said.

This year the government, through the National Agency for Border Management (BNPP), has set aside Rp13.9 trillion to develop border areas, he said.

"The government will allocate a sizable amount of funds every year to develop border areas. I believe that with these large amount of funds, the border areas will totally change in the next three years," he said.

While in Southeast Sulawesi province, the minister is scheduled to inaugurate an ocean current power plant in South Buton district on Saturday.(*)

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