By Jite Eriabie
The Indonesian government plans to open another two new routes in its maritime highway programme next year, local media quoted the Transportation Ministry’s inspector general, Wahju Satrio Utomo as saying.
The additional routes will add to the 13 routes that are currently operational making a total of 15 routes. Wahju said the ministry was consulting with regional administrations and private seaport operators on where to open the new routes.
He also expressed the hope of more private sector participation. “We hope the private sector can play a more active role in the maritime highway programme,” he said.
The Transportation Ministry has proposed to allocate up to IDR447bn ($33.1m) for the programme in the 2018 state budget, said Wahju. Noting that this would be 33% higher than this year’s budget for the programme, Wahju said existing routes were also evaluated and the government would pull out of routes that were adequately supported by private players.
“If commercial shipping lines already entered the routes, we might not need to support it,” Wahju said.
State-owned shipping operator Pelni currently serves seven routes, while private operators run the remaining six.
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