Jakarta (ANTARA) - The new Indonesian capital Nusantara could host the 79th Independence Day ceremony in 2024 provided its development progresses smoothly according to schedule, Nusantara Capital Authority head Bambang Susantono has said.

At a hearing meeting with Commission XI of the House of Representatives (DPR) here on Monday, the authority head called for support and prayers for the smooth development of the new capital.

"We ask for prayers and support for us to ensure that we can optimally organize all preparation programs this year and next year, according to Mr. President's wishes, we will organize the Independence Day ceremony at the new capital on August 17, 2024," Susantono said.

With 559 days to go before August 17, 2024, he affirmed that his side is continuing to optimize the work plans of the Nusantara Capital Authority to implement Law No. 3 of 2022 on the National Capital.

"Today, we have 559 days remaining before August 17, 2024. The day is approaching, and we have zero off days to implement mandates that you have passed as law," he told the legislators.

Though the Nusantara Capital Authority has a budget body, the authority is yet to receive the Budget Implementation List (DIPA) from the Finance Ministry, he said.

The Finance Ministry has allocated a Rp650-billion (US$41.6 million) budget in 2023 and disbursed Rp250 billion (US$16 million) in the first disbursement phase, he added.

For 2023, the Nusantara Capital Authority has only two programs—the provision of management support and the development of strategic areas, the agency head noted.

The management support aims for optimum organization consolidation, credible and accountable financial conditions, and effective internal control, while the development of strategic areas is to build the new city's economy, regulate funding and investment, and manage resources, Susantono expounded.

He also disclosed that the Nusantara Capital Authority has appointed seven deputies to ensure that the goals of strategic area development programs are fulfilled.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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