The Finance Ministry has announced that a plan to move the capital from Jakarta was still in its early phases as the ministry was currently waiting for further details from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas).

According to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, discussions in the Cabinet have not reached the point of measuring how long it would take to build the new capital, but they have instead focused on why such a plan was needed and the various criteria the city must meet.

The relocation plan is intended to turn Jakarta into a more livable city and ensure equal economic growth across Indonesia.

“Bappenas needs to finalize the details, and then we will talk about planning and budgeting […] We currently still do not know the engineering details and the exact location [for the new capital],” Sri Mulyani on the sidelines of the 52nd  Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting held in Fiji on Saturday.

She conceded that the budget needed to build a new capital would be huge.

“When the Vice President [Jusuf Kalla] asked [Jakarta Governor] Anies Baswedan to make a presentation on how to turn Jakarta into a more livable metropolitan city, we discovered it would require up to Rp 700 trillion [US$49.29 billion], Rp 500 trillion of which would come from the government. So, that is huge,” she went on to say.

Despite the enormous budget, the Finance Ministry said it would continue to ensure Indonesia’s financial health.

Bappenas head Bambang Brodjonegoro recently suggested moving the capital 50 to 70 kilometers outside Jakarta or out of Java completely.

 “We can expedite the process of moving the capital from 10 years to five years,” he said on the sidelines of the ADB annual meeting in Fiji. (evi)