"In the past, we started projects in May, July, and August. Now, we should move them forward to January," Jokowi said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will adopt a new system of budget absorption by ministries and state institutions in the face of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

"I will consistently implement this new budget absorption system and will continue to push the ministries and state institutions to follow it," President Jokowi stated after the signing of project contracts in the 2016 Annual Work Activities of the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing here on Wednesday.

According to the new system, the state budget-funded projects will be auctioned as early as possible at the beginning of the year that will allow work on the projects to run for the entire year. Thus, infrastructure projects could be completed speedily, and the benefits could be reaped by the people soon.

The auction of the projects was so far carried out at the beginning of the current budgetary year whose processes needed some four months to complete. This led to the signing of the contracts and work on the field to start only after almost half a year.

"The reason for starting all the projects at the beginning (of the year) is to give a boost and stimulate economic growth. It should not happen that investors and businesses have placed their trust on us now but we are being negligent. We should pay attention to this," the president emphasized.

Jokowi urged all sides to cooperate in commencing the auction before the current fiscal year begins. The contract should be awarded at the start of the year.

He said that it was now the era of competition where Indonesia had entered the AEC.

"We cannot reject it anymore. We cannot say that we do not accept it. So, if we still use the old system, we should not be surprised if we see outsiders stepping in," he noted.

Jokowi remarked that 11 countries in the ASEAN can enter Indonesia easily to control products and projects at home if the nation did not change its old-fashioned tradition, pattern, and manner of working.

"In the past, we started projects in May, July, and August. Now, we should move them forward to January," he said.

The president also thanked the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, which has started to sign the contracts of infrastructure projects in January 2016. The ministry has also been successful in closing the 2015 budget, with an absorption rate of 94 percent.

In its efforts to accelerate infrastructure development in 2016, the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing has offered 10,649 contract packages worth Rp73.41 trillion. It has initiated early action to allocate 5,344 contract packages worth Rp42.74 trillion during the August-December 2015 period.

It has signed 1,026 packages worth Rp25 trillion since this month (January), and on Wednesday, it signed a contract valued at Rp8.81 trillion.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2016