Building of international standard harbors would contribute to promoting national economy. International harbors would promote entry of machineries and capital goods not produced at home, as well as high tech equipments which would promote quality of education in Indonesia. Smooth flow of distribution through harbors would also stimulate foreign investors to come and invest in Indonesia. It was expected that building of representative harbors as international trade linkage would be enhance and accelerated.
Admittedly, the functioning of below standard harbors made them inaccessible to Indonesian cargo ship liners. If sea transportation were carried out by Indonesian ships the expenses would be much less. Other advantage of building high standard harbor was that the building and functioning the harbor itself would accommodate labor, and therefore propel the economic machine. Economy itself would pulsate as traffic of goods and services ran well.
Therefore the Indonesian Transportation Community [MTI] believed that the Government should focus effort on building one or two seaports in Indonesia which was truly representative whereby to support economy. Ajiph Razifan Anwar, Chairman of Head of Sea Transportation Division of MTI stated on Friday [28/3] that supposedly the Government concentrated on building or developing one or two high standard seaports instead of building many harbors based on questionable planning. Harbor building must begin with feasibility study in locations highly potential geographically or market wise in which to build hub port such as in Batam island. Anwar stated that with focused effort the Government could enhance budgeting efficiency.
He further stated that the operation of Short Sea Shipping [SSS] must be accompanied by giving away discount on harbor tariff system. The way it had been the operation of short sea shipping did not motivate cargo senders to transfer delivery of goods from land transportation to sea transportation [SSS]. Such was because cargo exoenses by sea was more expensive compared to land transportation by truck or railway. For that matter, he said, discount would be needed on harbor expenses.
He showed as an example reduction of harbor expenses could be applied on cost normally imposed on logistics trucks entering the harbor zone either during loading or unloading process. He remarked further that this system must be applied on ships sailing short distances. According to Anwar, by application of such discounts it would automatically reduce cost of short distance transport significantly.
MTI also rated that reluctance among the private sector to participate in the harbor building was because there was no assurance legally and economically for businesspeople. Anwar said that the Government must guarantee the private sector that they would be given enough time to manage the harbor; thereby the private sector could make profit or could at least make return on investment.
Anwar also mentioned that lack of supporting infra-structure in boundary regions made the people in those places depend on neighboring countries in fulfilling daily needs. The grievances of high transportation cost and procurement of facilities at home was not unusual to them. The choice to depend on neighboring countries who seemed to “care” more was the main reason. In this case indisputably the Central Government was fully accountable for the mismanagement in those areas. This was definitely an important domain and crucial point of management. Therefore, that development of representative harbor might be realized soonest, there must be proper financing scheme based on APBN State Budget and APBD Provincial Budget. (SS)
Business New - April 2, 2014