Govt Defends High-Speed Rail Project Deemed by Expert 'a Waste'



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry responded to the criticism from senior economist Faisal Basri about the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project, who predicted that the project would continue losing money until 'the end of time'. 

    The SOEs Ministry special staffer Arya Sinulingga on Thursday did not deny the argument expecting the project will take a long time to break even and said it would likely start to generate revenue 40 years after the construction completes. However, he insisted that this situation is common in high-speed rail projects in other countries. 

    “Our conservative calculation deems the equity will likely come in 40 years. But we are still not sure about this as it is a rough estimation, similar to the mass rapid transit project,” said the SOEs Minister Erick Thohir’s special staffer on October 14, reported.

    Arya said that the Ministry is still calculating and estimating the increased costs that come along with the construction of the bullet train project while waiting for the BPKP to audit it. 

    Prior to this, a senior economist at the University of Indonesia, Faisal Basri, slammed the project he deemed “a waste” and predicted that the project would not even break even until the apocalypse arrived. His main concern about the high-speed rail is the use of State Budget and the extra Rp27.74 trillion costs.

    Read: CELIOS Criticize High-Speed Rail Project; Notes Jokowi's Initial Promise in 2016