by Acep Hadinata
DG SAM Public Relation Officer
In the Middle Term of National Development Planning (RPJMN) 2014-2019, economic growth target is 6-8% per year, but the realization has only reach average of 5.02% for past 3 year (2014: 5.02%, 2015: 4.88%, 2016: 5.02%). As we know, infrastructure development is an essential key to pursue economic growth.
The state needs a huge cash to support the circumstances. It is estimated that approximately Rp 4,796.2 trillion is needed by the government to fill the gap. Infrastructure budget increases every year. The Government has allocated Rp 1,163.6 trillion regarding infrastructure development in state budget since 2014. However, the amount has not been enough yet to fill the funding gap.
Some infrastructures are important because they connect the dots. They are connecting people to people, cities to cities even islands to islands. Better networks of transport increase productivity by reducing the cost of transporting goods throughout the country. Moreover, the transport system can support country’s integration into the world market. Infrastructure itself is categorized as (i) Transport Infrastructure, (ii) Information Communication Telecommunication (ICT) Infrastructure, (iii) Energy Infrastructure and (iv) Financial Infrastructure. Related on these transport infrastructures, there are three modes of infrastructure: land, sea and air.
In a study by Kiel Institute in 2014, our infrastructure development index is still below average, compare to development index in India, Brazil, Egypt, and Vietnam. This is then become one of the triggers for the government to focus more on infrastructure. The government infrastructures are important because they drive the growth of economy.
Participation of Private Sector
Considering the budget constraint, it is impossible to fill the funding infrastructure gap by national budget itself. The government budget only allocated Rp 300-400 trillion for infrastructure per year which is accumulated approximately Rp 2,000 trillion for 5 years. Considering the circumstances, government pushed and applied simplicity of doing business for State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and private sector to develop infrastructures. Private Partnership Project (PPP) and asset management cooperation are a scheme chosen by SOEs and private sector, either using their own capital or joint invested capital whichever is suitable for the project.
In term of private sector, the government established some policies to encourage the participation of SOEs in infrastructure financing. The government's capital injection in SOEs infrastructure is a guarantee from government to improve financial capacity of SOEs Infrastructure. It indicates the government commitment to compel SOEs to participate more in infrastructure development.
SOEs must be able to invest every one rupiah to leverage their capital. Using their own capital as corporate mechanisms is more flexible than spending infrastructure budget allocation to fill gap infrastructure. The additional value of State Capital Investment (PMN) for SOEs sector infrastructure has been realized to be amounted to Rp 90,82 trillion between 2015-2017. As an illustration, the realization of PMN 2015-2016 was Rp 63,1 trillion, which was generated in Infrastructure sector project equivalent to the amount of Rp 173 trillion.
Negatives Tone Arisen
Regarding the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 from World Economic Forum (WEF), Indonesian Infrastructures Competitiveness index is increased from previous year. The rank in consecutive year in 2015, 2016 and 2017 are 62, 60 then increase up until 52 consecutively. Some experts are sure that Indonesian Infrastructures Competitiveness index will be better in a few years ahead. However, gap funding is factor that constrain the government infrastructure acceleration. That is why involving the private sector is certainly needed.
With all those efforts, unfortunately the government is still being criticized by people who don’t know about the condition. They thought the government is selling the infrastructure to private sectors. According to their perspective, involving the private sector to manage the infrastructure is equivalent with selling it to the private sector. The government ownership of these infrastructure is shifted. Furthermore, the chance to acquire cash for national budget become limited. Their views are wrong and misleading. It is not about transferring assets of infrastructure ownership, but it is about making alliance with private sectors to grab the opportunities to optimize the use of asset.
The position of the media has changed dramatically. This has been further accelerated by the growth of social medias, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Path. These social medias provide technological potential for greater interaction between the public and their government. However, the function of these social medias seems to change from the tools to engage the public policy development to one-way message transmitter, particularly during election campaign. Currently social media are being used more as an extension of traditional mass media, than as facility of collaborative, consultative and inclusive dialogue over policy development.
Let’s take a backward look to this amazing achievement. Radio had needed 38 years to reach 50 million audiences since it showed up for the first time. The television, with the same achievement, it had needed 13 years. The internet made a more significant story with only 4 years to reach 50 million users. Do you know how much time was needed to social media such as Facebook to reach 200 million users? Yes, they just took less than a year.
Social media has become trends due to its speed in sharing information. In other perspective, for some reason mainstream media with conventional style failed to spread the truth. The conventional media is beaten by just one click to share information. The public right now believe to the social media more than mainstream media. We talk about the trust here to inform the truth. Finally, hoaxes and fake news will be easily trusted by public. Right now, it is difficult to miss fake news from your personal gadget.
While in Padang West Sumatera on February 8, 2018 to commemorate National Press Day, the Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the increasing use of technology had driven the millennial youth generation to have a short span of focus. The one reason to explain these circumstances is because they prefer to read short news with 144 characters than long news article with in depth-research. The biggest challenge now, is distinguish which one is the fake news and the truth one.
As government public relation officers, we must have a campaign which show that involving private sectors in infrastructure development is important. It means that government will be able utilize Infrastructure assets without losing the ownership. Therefore, the government can allocate the state budget for other priority project. The private sectors stimulated economic growth because they deploy many workers while cooperating the infrastructure assets. Utilizing the government assets are not the same with selling the state assets. It is a mutually beneficial relationship between government and private sectors.
Due to the technological reason, the digital way is more effective than the conventional. Can you imagine, in 2017 only Directorate General of State Asset Management (DG SAM) official website already reached 2.594.709 million viewers. We will continue to expand the digital way communication channel to present and inform the public about government infrastructure. For the millennial generation, this includes the use of various social media channels to build understanding that government infrastructure is essential, therefore, it must be safeguarded and used responsibly for the benefit of the public.