Finance ministry ready to fund Batam-Bintan islands bridge
Mon, May 28 2012 00:36 | 1568 Views
Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - The Finance Ministry is ready to finance the construction of a bridge connecting Batam and Bintan islands by issuing state sharia bonds (sukuk), a lawmaker said.
Member of the House of Representatives (DPR) Harry Azhar Azis said on Sunday the ministry`s director general of debt management, Rahmat Waluyanto, had expressed support for the construction of the bridge to boost the economic growth of the Batam, Bintan and Karimun free trade zone and free port.
Right now sukuk contributed nearly Rp20 trillion to the state budget which reached hundreds of trillions of rupiah, he said.
"So if the construction of the bridge is to cost an estimated Rp8 trillion the government can issue sukuk to finance it," he said.
Harry said the bridge was badly needed to spur economic growth in the region.
When President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Batam some time ago, Riau Islands Governor Muhammad Sani asked the President to help finance the construction of the bridge.
In response, the President ordered the relevant ministry to study the proposal.
Separately, on Sunday, director of one-stop service and public relations of the Batam free-trade zone and free port management board,Dwi Djoko Wiwoho said the office was seeking to find investors for the construction of the bridge.
"Right now we are trying to find investors to build the bridge," he said.
A number of Chinese and South Korean investors had expressed keen interest in building the bridge that will connect two to three free trade zones. Even the Chinese investors had visited Batam recently to meet with the Governor to discuss the project, he said.
He said his office would continue to find investors to finance the project which will require huge funds. (*)
Editor: B Kunto Wibisono
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