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Thursday 9 February 2012

Indonesian President’s New Plane to Cost $89 Million: Fitra

 Indonesian President's New Plane to Cost $89 Million: Fitra 

Refl: Pasti dibanggakan bahwa sang raja punya pesawat untuk bisa mondar-mandir sana sini untuk melakukan apa yang dikatakan dinas. Tetapi, apakah tidak lebih berfaedah jika 89 miliun dollar untuk pesawat terbang ini dipakai untuk mempermurahkan ongkos bagi rakyat yang membutuhkan pengobatan di Puskemas?
Indonesian President's New Plane to Cost $89 Million: Fitra
Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Arientha Primanita | February 07, 2012

The State Secretary acknowledged on Monday that the government had indeed allocated two different budgets for a planned presidential plane; one for buying it and another for outfitting its interior. 

That would be a departure from what was approved by the House of Representatives, which only agreed to provide $58 million for purchasing the plane. 

"We have allocated $58 million to buy the aircraft plus an amount, I forget the figure, for its interior," said Sugiri, the head of administration and public relations at the State Secretary. 

The plan has drawn heavy criticism from people who say the plane is too lavish and unnecessary an expenditure for a country with so many millions of people mired in poverty. 

According to the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra), the government has lied to the public and the House with its double budgets. 

A document obtained by the civil society group revealed that the budget for the plane's interior amounted to $31 million, which would bring the total to $89 million. Fitra coordinator Ucok Sky Khadafi said officials were planning to borrow a huge amount of money from foreigners to help cover the cost. 

"It's very sad that the plan is financed by a Rp 92 billion [$10.3 million] loan," Ucok said. 

Sugiri, however, denied the allegations about the loan. 

Indonesia's foreign debt reached $214.5 billion by the first quarter of 2011, a $10 billion increase over last year's total, according to Ucok. 

The plane, a 737-800 series Boeing Business Jet, was delivered to the government last month. In a reference to the aircraft that transports the president of the United States, it has been dubbed "Indonesian Air Force One." 

Now, Ucok said, the government had invited four US companies — Associated Air Center, PATS Aircraft System, L-3 Integrated Systems and Gore Design Completions — to participate in the tender process for filling out the interior. 

"The government opened a tender process for filling the interior last month," Ucok said. 

Earlier reports indicated that the plane's onboard amenities would include a bedroom, bathroom and shower, as well as a dining area and conference room. 

Last June, Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said the plane was an "urgent need" that could significantly reduce the cost of presidential trips. 

"Indonesia is a huge country," he said. "If the president uses a commercial plane that has been modified into a presidential plane, it is a very inefficient use of the airliner. Besides, it is very costly if commercial fares apply to any [presidential] trip." 

The president now travels on a plane that has been leased from Garuda Indonesia for Rp 900 billion for five years.

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