Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Public Works and Housing (PUPR) Ministry has set a target to complete the construction of supporting infrastructure for the Napan integrated cross-border post (PLBN) in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) by the end of this year.

PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, in a statement received in Jakarta on Saturday, said the Napan border post was not just a matter of nation's pride. Most importantly, it would also serve as a crucial means to provide defense and security as well as to serve as a new center for economic growth in Indonesia and Timor-Leste's border area.

"The construction of the PLBN is not just an effort to make an entrance gate, as it will also serve as the foundation of a hub for an economic growth that will help boost the welfare of the people in the border area," Hadimuljono noted.

The government has allocated a budget totaling Rp22 billion from the State Budget (APBN) to finance the Napan border post construction project. The funds are used for building such facilities as rest area, barriers, and roads; strengthening slope, and procuring furniture.

In addition, the government will resume several unfinished works on core zone, sub-core zone, Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) zone, as well as the zone of the National Police (Police) by using the allocated budget.

The Napan border post development project is carried out to follow up on the Presidential Instruction No. 1 of 2019 on the acceleration of development of 11 cross-border posts and supporting infrastructures in border areas.

The presence of the Napan border post with reliable infrastructures is expected to help improve the quality of border areas in NTT so that the will become more competitive in the government's efforts to reduce disparity, especially in the underdeveloped, frontier, and outermost (3T) areas.

The PLBN is situated in Napan Village, North Bikomi Sub-district, North Central Timor District, about 200 km away from the province's capital city, Kupang.

Administratively, this integrated border post is ready to operate to push the economic equity and elevate the living standard of those who reside in the border area of Indonesia's Timor Tengah Utara District and Timor Leste.

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Translator: Indra Arief, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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