Sunday, 14 September 2014


Just like the years before, after Idul Fitri 2014 city dwellers who rushed for their hometowns were returning to the big cities, but holding hands with friend or relative who tried to live a better life in Jakarta or other big cities. This was known as urbanization that happened after every Lebaran.

Massive exodus of people from villages to cities was never ending, especially during backflow rush after Idul Fitri.

Economic discrepancy between regions and big cities was reckoned as the main cause of urbanization. Big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung were the main destinations, and people moved from villages to cities in search of a better life.

Urbanization in big cities posed big problem for the Municipality; the villages where the migrants came from were economically unpromising and they saw that cities were the hub of development so it was only natural that migrants were tempted to gamble for life in cities.

Empirically urbanization was always in parallel with development. Today development in cities especially Jakarta was blooming and posed as magnet to migrants; so the blame should not be put on the migration itself but rather on Central Government’s policy for allowing uneven distribution of property.

It showed that the regional autonomy program was improper; the program could have been accomplished by downsizing migration and tapping the respective potentials to suppress urbanization flow while regional development could be exercised. From many years of experience there were 3 thinkable solutions to minimize urbanization :

Firstly to forbid villagers to migrate to the cities had been exercised today, but the result had been at minimum because it sounds authoritarian.

Secondly to balance up development between villages and cities, where today villages were still reliant on the agricultural sector, while in fact development should be on the overall including the industry, manufacturing, service and infra-structure sectors.

Thirdly, to develop small towns in the regions as new development centers. In fact city development in the regions hade been made easy with Regional Autonomy Program, so the Provincial Government had greater authority to build their respective regions.

Data of the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigrations [Kemnakertranss] had it that migrations all of Indonesia during every Idul Fitri was around 1 million people. The destination cities were among others Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan, Batam, and Semarang.

The Ministry had captured the essence of urbanization phenomenon in Indonesia, among the fact was that newcomers were not armed with skill capital to earn a living in the cities; so the excess if urbanization must be anticipated to prevent unemployment and social outburst in the cities.

The menakertrans was opinion that possible way top anticipate urbanization was to encourage provincial authorities to develop growth centers in the rural areas. The Ministry had fostered collaboration with local Governments to overcome unemployment in their respective places.

To do so, governors must develop the labor sector whereby to employ as many people as possible. Accordingly they should actively drum up investors whereby to start business and increase employment opportunities. Besides, various infra structure development must be enhanced by involving as many people as possible.

Besides, all parties must actively enhance alternative programs like entrepreneurship, labor intensive projects, and technological application to promote economic development in other Indonesia regions. Support for entrepreneurs by provincial authorities could be by way of facilitating training programs for starters.

By promoting entrepreneurship it was expected that job opportunities could be opened. The Ministry of Labor and Transportations also supported development of 132 productive village spread out in 33 provinces in Indonesia.

To arm migrating workforce with skill, the Ministry offered job seekers to make the best of available workshops and training centers available in all of Indonesia, where job seekers could learn and step up competence.

Other solution was to build economy and industry centers in the regions through the MP3 El Masterplan. Serious implementation by the Central Government and sound support by local Government to MP3 El Program through 6 economic corridors might help to keep rural people from migrating to the cities.

Politically the MP3EI program was intended to speed up even outspreading of development all over the country based on each respective local characteristics of the region. To illustrate, the Bali and Nusa Tenggara provinces were prioritized for tourism.

About urbanization, noteworthy was the statement of Finance Minister Chatib Basri who stated that urbanization as socio-economic problem could be overcome by modernizing agriculture. Urbanization was a problem that happened all over the world because of discrepancy in wages level between rural and urban areas.

The effort to promote agricultural sector could not be done by restricting import but by modernizing agriculture to increase farmer’s income. If productivity and wages were increased it would prevent villagers from migrating to the cities.

Today urbanization was happening because workers’ income was better than farmers’ income, and productivity of the industrial sector was better than the agricultural center. Urbanization was a phenomenon that happened even in developed countries and reformation of the agricultural sectors was to reduce burden of the big cities. (SS)

Business New - August 8, 2014

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