President Jokowi Inaugurates Section III of Semarang Solo Toll Road
Date 25 September 2017
President Joko Jokowi Widodo on Monday (25/9) inaugurated Section III of Semarang Solo Toll Road: Bawen-Salatiga in Central Java Province.
The Toll Road itself has been on trial since 15 September.
The Bawen Salatiga Toll Road is part of the Semarang Solo Toll Road stretching 17.6 kilometers.
In his introductory remarks, President Jokowi said that Bawen Salatiga Toll Road is conducted by a consortium of state-owned enterprise Jasa Marga, private company Astra Infra, and Central Java Provincial Government. The consortium, which consist of the Central Government, regional government, state-owned enterprises, and the private sector, undertakes the project, President Jokowi said.
President Jokowi believes that through the consortium, the construction process will be faster and the land acquisition issue can be settled faster. We must be on par with other countries. If our neighboring countries can do so, we can also do more. We are a big country, the President said.
According to the President, logistic costs in Indonesia for transporting goods from one place to other places are still 2 2.5 times higher than logistic costs in Singapore and Malaysia, in which one of the reasons is the toll roads whose construction has not been finished yet and due to high logistic costs, goods purchased by the people can be more expensive.
Therefore, President Jokowi called on heads of district, heads of sub-district, regents, and mayors attending the inauguration ceremony to disseminate to the people about the benefits of the toll road.
Regarding funds to construct toll roads, President Jokowi said that the Government currently has many funding schemes and are not only limited to bank loans but also by collaborating with private sectors, selling bonds, or through a limited consortium scheme. We have many options now, the President said.
Furthermore, President Jokowi also reminded Minister of State-owned Enterprises that the Government must not be satisfied just by owning those toll roads. Once the construction of the toll road is finished, we can sell it but not immediately, the President said, adding that it can be sold after 20 years and the money can be used to construct toll roads in other places.
It should be like that. Other countries also adopt a similar scheme, the President said.
Therefore, the President said, the Government does not have to own it but it still can use it and belongs to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia. We must sell the toll road in a determined time limit concession in 10 or 20 years, the President said, adding that this move will accelerate construction of infrastructures in other places in the country.
These are the works that we have to continue to do so that we can build those infrastructures quickly, the President added.
Joining the President at the inauguration ceremony were First Lady Ibu Iriana Joko Widodo, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of State-owned Enterprises Rini Soemarno, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, Salatiga Mayor, as well as regents and heads of sub-districts. (DNA/OJI/ES) (EP/YM/Naster)