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Jakarta giving private sector priority for infrastructure projects

Most bankable schemes should be financed by private firms, ministers told

Jakarta

NEEDING some US$450 billion for Indonesia's infrastructure by 2019, new President Joko Widodo has ordered ministers to give private investors first pick of money-making projects rather than let state agencies grab them as they usually do.

Mr Joko will have to change entrenched attitudes at government ministries and state-owned enterprises, who have a vested interest in keeping the best projects for themselves.

"The problem is that the projects coming to us are kind of the garbage projects," said Bastary Pandji Indra, director of public-private partnerships at the national planning agency, Bappenas.

Hitherto, the government's contracting agencies got first choice of which airports, railways,...

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