The West Java International Airport (BIJB) mega project located in Majalengka Regency is part of an infrastructure project that is the mainstay of the Jokowi-JK regime. The project seems to be forced even though it has been rejected by people who have protested and rejected the mega project for more than 10 years.
The development of Airport and Aero city business area is estimated to require a budget of more than Rp. 50 trillion funded from the West Java Regional Revenue and Expenditure Budget (Anggaran Pendapatan dan Belanja Daerah/APBD), National Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBN) and the rest are still seeking funds from domestic and foreign investors. It is ironic that the high budget is released when the government suffers budget deficits and cuts the budget in the 2016 APBN, especially budget cuts for social needs and community subsidies.
So the question is the reasons of the government still insisted on running the project BIJB even without heeding the rejection of the community or without giving clarity to the fate of the people who will be displaced.
The Role of The Imperialist State In Infrastructure Development Projects
The infrastructure project is one of the main programs of Jokowi-JK’s government. It is reflected in the various statements about the importance of infrastructure program as well as efforts to attract various investors into financing Indonesia’s infrastructure development projects. The latest and subsequent controversy is the construction of the Jakarta-Bandung fast train.
To implement those various infrastructure projects, the Jokowi government has set the funding requirement of around Rp 4,800 trillion until 2019. While the government’s capability is only around Rp 1,131 trillion, so there is a considerable shortage of funds.
How can the infrastructure development projects be so massive when the world is experiencing a crisis due to the stagnation of economic growth, whether in the United States, European Union, China, and Japan?
Investment in infrastructure projects is an important asset as it becomes the main road for capital exports and industrial overproduction to spin and generate mega profits from various countries that are dependent on investment and debt. The new straw on infrastructure projects debt will prolong the slavery of various countries on investment and debt.
In addition to the ongoing campaign of war and aggression, infrastructure projects also play a similar role in mobilizing imperialist such as United States’ capital and industries, the European Union and Japan.
The international funding provided for infrastructure projects has grown since 2014. In 2014 for example, the available funds reached US $ 24.2 billion, up 45% from the previous year. Through the World Bank’s command, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) was established by gathering governments, development agencies and private investors to fund global infrastructure projects. This became known as the Global Infrastructure Facilities [GIF] under the World Bank.
GIF becomes a collaboration of donor countries and multilateral development banks to jointly finance infrastructure development in PPP schemes to various countries with emerging market targets as well as emerging country such as China, India, Bangladesh , Brazil, North Africa and Indonesia are estimated to need funds of US $ 1 trillion for the next 5 years.
The imperialist countries and institutions are currently competing to provide debt relief for various infrastructure projects. While governments in countries like Indonesia are funded for infrastructure development, at the same time imperialist countries are also pressing the free trade agendas to allow their goods and capital entering unhindered to developing countries. As it are currently a rampant free trade negotiations and investments namely RCEP, TPP and other negotiations in the WTO.
These Asia-Pacific regional “trade and economic partnership schemes” are like a container of various investment schemes, trade in goods and services, faster and cheaper labor traffic if supported in conjunction with major infrastructure developments.
The Roles of Indonesian Government
The position of Indonesia becomes very important in infrastructure projects as a major part of the development of inter-regional and inter-country liaison lines. The development of infrastructure in Indonesia is used to support the circulation of goods and services and trade owned by imperialists and its alliances in Indonesia.
The International Finance Corporation [IFC], a World Bank-established institution, said that if Indonesia wants to continue to compete as an economically growing country, infrastructure projects are essential as a condition for foreign capital to enter Indonesia.
Together with the World Bank, IFC distribute debts to the Indonesian government of US $ 12 billion for 4 years. Beyond that each institution has poured US $ 1 billion in early 2016. IFC also provided capital to Jokowi to raise funds into an infrastructure financing company called PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur. In addition to foreign funds the government also utilizes public funds drawn through various schemes such as BPJS.
Funding sources for Indonesia’s infrastructure projects are increasingly ensured. Various domestic and international financial institutions such as Indonesia Infrastructure Fund [IIF], Japan Bank for International Cooperation [JBIC], ADB, World Bank to the latest AIIB is ready to finance infrastructure projects spread across Indonesia.
Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso once described how banks in Japan have been actively encouraging financing for long-term projects in Indonesia. Recently on May 31, the Ministry of PUPR declared to have signed MOUs of five strategic projects, including the construction of the Patimban port access road along 8.1 km four two-lane lanes with 1.12 trillion. Also the project of Jakarta sewerage system or construction of a wastewater treatment plant, Bandung inner city toll road project, Bali Beach project with a value of 1.2 trillion. There is also security system project of anti terrorist cooperation such as face detection tool for GBK in welcoming Asian game 2018, worth 59,5 Milliyar.
The same is true for Chinese government investment that will finance the construction of four toll roads, namely Solo-Kertosono worth Rp 2.83 trillion, Cileunyi-Sumedang-Dawuan (Cisundawu) worth Rp 3.4 trillion, Balikpapan-Samarinda worth Rp 763 billion and The Manado-Bitung toll road with a loan worth Rp 1.24 trillion.
The Indonesian government is commanded to play a role in providing land and changing the rules for the entry of foreign capital. Of course, the procurement of land for investment and infrastructure projects many get popular resistance. Resistance arises because the procurement of land sacrifices a lot of people and displaces people’s lives. However, the Indonesian government is also requested and funded to provide “security” guarantees for projects and investments to run smoothly. So the more often we see the deployment of thousands of apparatus to carry out evictions in the name of security.
The facts reflect that infrastructure development is not at all oriented towards the welfare of the people and forming a firm national industry. Liberalization and privatization mean the removal of subsidies and social budgets such as education and health. Thus, as good as any infrastructure development run by the Jokowi government will not provide cheap and affordable services for the needs of the people of Indonesia.
The devotion and dependence of development capital on foreign investment and debt will push a country deeper into the bondage of development debt. In contrast, land-grabbing following forced evictions, violence against people in various sectors will be more massive. The fertile soil as a source of people’s economy will be replaced by asphalt and building of local and foreign businessmen.
The suffering of the people will continue to grow because the debt of development projects will be borne by the people through various levies and price mark-up. Maybe we’ll see nice roads, long tolls, tall buildings and factories all over the country. But, they are not owned by the people, they are not owned by Indonesia and the most important is through them all we are driven and controlled.