Indonesian President Joko Widodo has affirmed relocation of the capital city from Jakarta to a place outside Java in a bid to fairly distribute population, which is now mainly concentrated on the key economic island of Java, a minister said here on Monday.
The president's decision was made in a cabinet meeting, picked from three options comprised of forming a special district in Jakarta, opening a city in a neighboring province of Banten and establishing a new capital city outside Java.
"The president opted the third option," Indonesian Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said on the sidelines of the meeting.
There has been no definite area for the new capital city discussed in the meeting, the minister said, adding that cabinet ministers would intensify discussions to finalize the capital relocation plan.
Prior to the meeting, Widodo stressed the importance to fairly distribute the population to islands outside Java, which already hosted 57 percent of the nation's population.
"Kalimantan hosts six percent of population, while Sulawesi only seven percent. Maluku and Papua are only inhabited by three percent of the nation's population. Do you want to add more people in Java which is already packed by 57 percent of the total population?" the president asked.
Conveying part of the requirements for area nominated as the new capital city, Bambang said that the new capital should sit in the middle of the nation's territory, has minimum risk to disasters and be close to the coast line to represent the nation's character as a maritime country.
The planned new capital city would be built at an area of up to 40,000 hectares, capable of accommodating at least 1.5 million people. The presidential office, legislative buildings, police and military headquarters will be built there.
The current capital of Jakarta is assessed to be barely able to accommodate all the political and economic activities in the future, the minister said.
Source: China � ASEAN Business Council