"I am optimistic that our efforts to establish a new national capital within the borders of the districts of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara in East Kalimantan Province would be successful in future," Djiwandono stated during a virtual audience with members of the Indonesian Journalist Association on Tuesday.
Djiwandono, representing the East Kalimantan electoral district, acknowledged that the need to refocus the national budget to handle the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia might delay the work to construct the capital. He pointed to uncertainty still looming over the start date for construction of the new capital city.
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"The early plan to lay the first stone to commence construction was on August 17 during the 76th anniversary of Indonesian independence, but the COVID-19 pandemic might leave no choice but to delay the construction," the DPR member stated.
Djiwandono advised East Kalimantan’s residents to not expect the new capital to be built too soon for the time being, as the government was currently focusing on efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Djiwandono encouraged East Kalimantan’s residents to boost the province's agriculture and to develop it as the new food producer for the country, especially for the new state capital.
East Kalimantan has vast potential to become the nation's newest major food source, with rice, corn, and cassava crops as well as fishery, poultry, and cattle farming that can be further developed, he affirmed.
"North Penajam Paser's Babulu Sub-district has been a major rice-producing district for the region, and improving supporting infrastructure and irrigation will enhance crop productivity," Djiwandono emphasized.
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