President instructs public works minister to handle aceh reconstruction

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has instructed the Public Works and Housing Ministry to handle the rehabilitation and reconstruction of earthquake-hit areas in Aceh province.

"Since simultaneous regional head elections will be held in 21 regions in Aceh (on February 15, 2017), the Public Works and Housing Ministry will directly handle the rehabilitation and reconstruction of resident houses, roads, markets, social facilities and so on," Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said here on Friday.

This was decided at a limited cabinet meeting led by President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, he said.

The finance minister has approved budgetary funds for the project, he disclosed.

"Hopefully, there will be no problem with the mechanism of channeling the funds," he said.

Pramono said that he had written to the public works and housing minister and related ministers, at the request of the president, to carry out the tasks soon.

Since the 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Aceh province on December 7, President Jokowi has twice visited the affected districts of Pidie, Pidie Jaya and Biereuen to see for himself the post-quake conditions there.

"Yesterday, the coordinating minister for human development and culture, the social service minister, and the public works and housing minister visited there. The chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB) has likely spent much of his time there and returned to Jakarta only today," he said.(*)

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