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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 18 December 2014  

Govt to roll up sleeves on infrastructure projects next year
Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono says that next year’s increasing fiscal savings from fuel subsidy reallocation and the government’s austerity measures has allowed the ministry to request an additional budget of Rp 47.5 trillion (US$3.68 billion) in the 2015 state budget, up from the initial request of Rp 12 trillion.
“If possible we will further increase the figure of the additional budget, of course after considering the ministry’s capacity as well as the availability of the service provider,” Basuki told reporters on Tuesday.
The government had previously allocated Rp 85 trillion for the ministry both for public works and public housing in the 2015 state budget. The ministry initially proposed a total of Rp 12 trillion from fiscal savings to finance the ministry’s clean water and sanitation projects (Rp 7 trillion), irrigation system and dams (Rp 4 trillion) and housing projects (Rp 1 trillion).
Due to an increase in fiscal savings, the ministry decided to propose higher figures that would be used to finance road projects (Rp 20 trillion), food sufficiency program (Rp 12.5 trillion), clean water and sanitation projects (Rp 13 trillion) and housing projects (Rp 2 trillion).
“With the increase in additional budget, we hope to see more dam projects to be realized next year. We are planning to add two more dams into our list next year,” the minister said, citing to Ciawi Dam and Sukamahi Dam, in West Java.
With the additional two dams, the ministry is set to construct 13 dams next year alone. 
The ministry was assigned to construct 49 dams over the next five years, an increase from the previous target of 30 dams.
The fuel subsidy reallocation and the government’s austerity measures will also allow the Transportation Ministry to accelerate transportation infrastructure development. 
One of the projects is to lengthen the runway of 8 non-commercial airports across the archipelago, to allow bigger jets to enter the country’s remote areas.
“The total budget requires the development of these airports at Rp 1.2 trillion and we are planning to utilize the budget from fuel subsidy reallocation to develop these airports,” Djoko said.
The airports are namely Rembele Airport in Aceh, Blimbingsari in East Java, Komodo Airport in East Nusa Tenggara, Tojo Una Una Airport in Central Sulawesi, 
Kuabang Kao Airport in North Maluku, Ibra Airport in Maluku, New Saumlaki Airport in Maluku and Dekai Airport in Papua. These airports currently can only accommodate ATR-72 aircrafts. Following the extension from 2,000-meter long to 2,250-meter long runways, the airports will be able to accommodate Boeing 737.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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