Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (PDTT) is focusing on developing 62 underdeveloped districts spread across a number of Indonesian provinces by 2024.

"We must develop these 62 underdeveloped districts until 2024," PDTT Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar said at the virtual commemoration of Regional Development Acceleration Day in Bondowoso, which was followed from Jakarta on Thursday.

The 62 underdeveloped districts are spread across 11 provinces and include the two newly formed autonomous regions of South Manokwari and Arfak Mountains, he informed.

Developing the regions will certainly not be easy since it will require commitment from all stakeholders and collaboration across ministries and agencies, Iskandar said.

"It requires cooperation and a detailed division of tasks between cross-sectors," he added.

He then outlined several main issues in the underdeveloped areas, starting from low Human Development Index (IPM), high percentage of poor people, and low percentage of infrastructure availability or range of access to public facilities.

Another issue is the national gross domestic product (GDP), which is still dominated by Java and Sumatra. As of the first quarter of 2022, their GDP contribution reached 79.74 percent.

"For this reason, accelerated energy is needed in regional development for the sake of developing disadvantaged areas," the minister said.

According to him, the village, with all its advantages, can play an important and significant role in the development of underdeveloped areas. Therefore, the village must become the driver of development, especially in disadvantaged areas.

"In short, the higher the quality of the use of Village Funds, the faster the status of the village will improve. This is a chance for districts to move from being a disadvantaged area," he explained.

During Thursday’s commemoration, Iskandar presented awards to 17 village heads from Bondowoso district and 16 village heads from Situbondo district for successfully raising the status of their villages to the level of “independent villages.”

Awards were also given to East Java province and Paser, Jembrana, North Lombok, and Tanah Laut districts for successfully transforming community revolving fund managers, who were formerly known as the National Program for Independent Rural Community Empowerment (PNPM-MPd) into Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes) Bersama.

Iskandar also gave awards to the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and the Ministry of Communication and Informatics as implementers of the National Program for the Acceleration Development of Disadvantaged Regions for the 2020–2021 Period.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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