Reducing Inequality in West Papua by Accelerating Infrastructure Development

Until 2019, the Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Area and Transmigration (DPDTT) is prioritizing the program of eradicating 80 disadvantaged areas to make it developed areas, from the 122 areas classified as disadvantaged areas. In addition, the DPDTT Ministry is also prioritizing the acceleration of development in 39,091 disadvantaged villages and 17,268 villages that are very much behind.

The program is part of the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) of 2015-2019 with a target of increasing the economic growth of underdeveloped regions to 7.24 percent by 2019. Next is to reduce the percentage of the poor in disadvantaged areas to 14.00 percent and increase the Index Human Development (HDI) to about 69.59 percent.

In order for these targets to be achieved, a strategy that works is needed. Among other things is to utilize natural resources for the greatest prosperity of the people, and implement the pattern of development by minimizing regional inequality.

Most important are qualified human resources, innovation, creativity and ability to apply the right technology. Next is to encourage investment that can increase people’s productivity.

As we know, the 122 underdeveloped regions in Indonesia are spread in 19 regencies in Sumatera, 6 regencies in Java and Bali, 12 regencies in Kalimantan, 18 regencies in Sulawesi, 26 regencies in East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara, 14 regencies in Maluku, and 33 regencies in Papua.

Based from data, it is seen that the eastern part of Indonesia is the most abundant area. Therefore, there must be a policy effort to reduce the gap with the acceleration of infrastructure development, potential management, and development of a more independent transmigration area.

This is not certainly an easy job. There must really be a mature readiness in order for the target to alleviate the disadvantaged areas and make them better. At a minimum, the disadvantaged areas should already have access to areas with a running economy. Therefore, an exchange of economic value of society will exists.

West Papua also Applies a New Scheme on the Utilization of the Special Autonomy (Otsus) Fund. In 2018, West Papua province received a special autonomy fund (Otsus) of Rp. 2.4 trillion and additional special autonomy infrastructure funds amounting to Rp.1.6 trillion. The amount of additional funds is greater than last year, which was only Rp. 875 billion.

Starting this year, the distribution of Otsus funds in West Papua uses a new scheme as set forth in the West Papua Regional Development Plan (RPJMD) 2017-2022, of which 90 percent of the special autonomy funds are handed over to regencies / municipalities while provinces only manage 10 percent.

In relation, the West Papua Provincial Government affirmed that all regency / municipal governments are obliged to carry out the management of special autonomy fund with full responsibility and transparency, while the accountability report on the use of special autonomy funds must be submitted periodically on time.

Meanwhile, for additional infrastructure funding, management is handed over to the Public Works Department and the Transportation Department. The funds will be used to accelerate infrastructure development such as roads and bridges.

To evaluate the progress of each region in the implementation of Otsus, the regional heads agreed to hold meetings and presentations of Otsus development results every year, and it will be conducted in Teluk Wondama Regency this year.



Pict from: Ministry of Village and DPDTT

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