Progress of the 4G BTS development will be pursued
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Acting Communication and Informatics Minister Mahfud MD has assured that the communication infrastructure projects of the ministry will go according to plan, unhindered by the base transceiver station (BTS) corruption case.

"Progress of the 4G BTS development will be pursued. Even other projects, such as SATRIA satellite, Internet network access points in villages, the Palapa Ring Integration program, and others, will also be continued in accordance with the set program and available budget," he informed here on Tuesday.

Of the Rp10 trillion (US$672 million) disbursed for the project in 2020–2021, only a third was needed to build 4,200 BTS towers in remote areas, he claimed.

He said that he arrived at the figure after consulting many experts on the matter.

According to a report from the Finance and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP), the state experienced a loss of Rp8.1 trillion to Rp8.2 trillion because of the BTS corruption case.

He then urged officials in the ministry to assist in the investigation of the case involving the BTS project for remote areas, particularly on the misappropriation of money.

"As for the 4G BTS project, (funding for) which was allegedly misused, I urge for the money to be taken back. Director generals must push efforts to get the money back," Mahfud stressed.

He said he expected that while efforts to locate the lost funding go on, the development of 4G BTS development in remote areas would also move forward concurrently, so people will still get the telecommunication access they need.

This has become even more urgent since the towers' development program has been a part of the national strategic program since a long time ago, he added.

"If we start anew, it would be difficult. So, the 4G BTS program will and must be continued. The project kicked off in 2006, and it is now 2023, which means that the project has been going on for 16 years, and the (funding) disbursed is already so much," he said.

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Translator: Livia Kristianti, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Sri Haryati
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