Indonesia: Ministry questions BRR capabilities in Aceh reconstruction

Jakarta, Indonesia-Relief -- Tsunami reconstruction budget approved by Indonesian House of Representative is lower than the proposed budget. But according to Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning Sri Mulyani, the lowered budget is not the issue. The issue is whether Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias (BRR) could absorb the approved budget to be implemented in 2005.

''Of more than Rp 9 trillion ($943.7 million) requested for reconstruction efforts in 2005, the house is only approved Rp 8.15 trillion ($858 million),'' said Mulyani on Monday, after accompanying Indonesian Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono meeting with Britain International Development Minister Gareth Thomas, as quoted by Kompas.

Mulyani, whose ministry responsible for creating Aceh and Nias blue print or master plan, said it doesn't matter if the reconstruction budget for 2005 is lowered. ''The question is whether BRR could absorb those entire approved budget. Therefore we already asked BRR to create list of priority program and project that can be financed and implemented until the end of 2005.''

Mulyani than reiterated that all program and project must be implemented through public tender offers.

For Aceh and Nias rehabilitation and reconstruction project in 2006, Mulyani said the government would request Rp 13 trillion. ''It will be included in the Indonesian 2006 national budget plan, and will be submitted to the house in October,'' she said.

On result of the president meeting with Gareth Thomas, Mulyani revealed that the British Government would increase its tsunami assistance, from only 10 million pound sterling in emergency phase, to totally 57 million pound sterling for rehabilitation and reconstruction of Aceh and Nias. © che