Govt should tidy Batam authority status soon

After years of uncertainty, the central government will clari..." /> Govt should tidy Batam authority status soon

After years of uncertainty, the central government will clari...">
Govt should tidy Batam authority status soon

After years of uncertainty, the central government will clarify the status of the Batam Industrial Development Authority (BIDA) by the end of this year, Riau Islands Governor Ismeth Abdullah says.

Ismet said he had sent a letter to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, requesting an acceleration of the announcement on the status of BIDA.

"The (president) will decide on BIDA's status soon, by the end of this year," he told The Jakarta Post recently.

If the clarification is announced, then probably all of BIDA's assets, employees and authority would be transferred to the newly established Regional Management Agency (BPK) of the Batam Special Economic Region, he added.

He had earlier said the transfer was expected to occur by the end of this month, but this deadline did not now seem practical.

The BIDA was set up in 1970 by the late former president Soeharto under a presidential decree to manage the development of Batam.

BIDA, however, presented problems on functional overlaps and parallel administration since the Riau Islands province was established under a 2002 law, creating uncertainty on the location of ultimate authority over matters concerning local businesses, exacerbating worries about over-complicated bureaucracy.

Ismeth, who led the BIDA from 1998 to 2006, said that once the final status of BIDA could be finally resolved, then there would be three separate agencies, one each in Batam, Bintan and Karimun; the three islands planned respectively to become free trade zones (FTZs).

The agencies in Bintan and Karimun will involve their respective regency administrations, while the agency for Batam will be entirely independent and will not involve the municipal administration, according to Ismeth.

"Batam is special so it needs an independent and larger agency to manage it," he said.

The establishment of the agencies on the three islands were expected to help boost the amount of investment in those regions to over US$5 billion during the next five years.

Batam municipality's assistant for administrative affairs Asyari Abbas said they had agreed with Ismet's decision to exclude Batam municipality from the new agency's management structure.

Indonesia and Singapore have have already signed in principle a deal for massive investment in the three islands, located some 30 minutes by ferry from Singapore.

However, Singapore businessmen remain reluctant to invest heavily in the islands until clarification of the uncertainties concerning the governance, administration and management of the free trade zones covering the three islands.

-- JP/Mustaqim Adamrah
<span style="font-size: 14pt"><span style="font-weight: bold">Govt should tidy Batam authority status soon</span></span><br /> <br /> After years of uncertainty, the central government will clarify the status of the Batam Industrial Development Authority (BIDA) by the end of this year, Riau Islands Governor Ismeth Abdullah says.<br /> <br /> Ismet said he had sent a letter to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, requesting an acceleration of the announcement on the status of BIDA.<br /> <br /> &quot;The (president) will decide on BIDA's status soon, by the end of this year,&quot; he told The Jakarta Post recently.<br /> <br /> If the clarification is announced, then probably all of BIDA's assets, employees and authority would be transferred to the newly established Regional Management Agency (BPK) of the Batam Special Economic Region, he added.<br /> <br /> He had earlier said the transfer was expected to occur by the end of this month, but this deadline did not now seem practical.<br /> <br /> The BIDA was set up in 1970 by the late former president Soeharto under a presidential decree to manage the development of Batam.<br /> <br /> BIDA, however, presented problems on functional overlaps and parallel administration since the Riau Islands province was established under a 2002 law, creating uncertainty on the location of ultimate authority over matters concerning local businesses, exacerbating worries about over-complicated bureaucracy.<br /> <br /> Ismeth, who led the BIDA from 1998 to 2006, said that once the final status of BIDA could be finally resolved, then there would be three separate agencies, one each in Batam, Bintan and Karimun; the three islands planned respectively to become free trade zones (FTZs).<br /> <br /> The agencies in Bintan and Karimun will involve their respective regency administrations, while the agency for Batam will be entirely independent and will not involve the municipal administration, according to Ismeth.<br /> <br /> &quot;Batam is special so it needs an independent and larger agency to manage it,&quot; he said.<br /> <br /> The establishment of the agencies on the three islands were expected to help boost the amount of investment in those regions to over US$5 billion during the next five years.<br /> <br /> Batam municipality's assistant for administrative affairs Asyari Abbas said they had agreed with Ismet's decision to exclude Batam municipality from the new agency's management structure.<br /> <br /> Indonesia and Singapore have have already signed in principle a deal for massive investment in the three islands, located some 30 minutes by ferry from Singapore.<br /> <br /> However, Singapore businessmen remain reluctant to invest heavily in the islands until clarification of the uncertainties concerning the governance, administration and management of the free trade zones covering the three islands.<br /> <br /> -- JP/Mustaqim Adamrah
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