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Trade agreements put our right to water at risk

Trade agreements like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are designed to make it easier for foreign multinational corporations to invest and do business. In doing so, they put the rights of citizens and workers second to profits. Read an Op-Ed by Abdul Somad, president of PSI affiliate Jakarta Water Workers’ Union (SP PDAM Jakarta).

Source: PSI

Jakarta’s remunicipalization plan raises hope for better water service

Jakarta’s remunicipalization plan has raised hopes for better water service. “The remunicipalization plan is part on the city’s efforts to achieve 82 percent tap water coverage by 2023. The realization of this target has been slow because of the previous agreement with the private operators. Tap water coverage today sits at 59.4 percent, a sluggish increase from 44.5 percent in 1998. Activists and the public alike have long demanded remunicipalization. Although Jakarta’s plan is still underway, Badung regency in Bali has found success after ending its 20 year partnership with private firms in 2012, according to remunicipalization global tracker website remunicipalisation.org.”s.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Bank Indonesia Governor has asserted that private infrastructure financing could boost growth to 6.5%

Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo has asserted that private infrastructure financing could boost growth to 6.5%. “‘If infrastructure financing is sourced from private companies, foreign capital will enter,’ he added. ‘This is [part of] the BI and OJK’s [Financial Services Authority] concrete steps toward narrowing the current account deficit, while at the same time, boosting growth in the medium and long terms,’ said Perry.”

The World Bank is urging the government to promote public-private collaboration

The World Bank is urging the government to promote public-private collaboration to foster “inclusive urbanization.” Stephanie von Friedeburg, chief operating officer at the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation, “said during the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that mayors and their local administrations could not face the challenges alone. (…) Von Friedeburg explained, while the government could enforce smarter regulations, the private sector could also finance infrastructure projects through instruments such as green bonds or public-private partnerships.” National Development Planning Board head Bambang Brodjonegoro advocated for “responsive” regulations. “Research organization McKinsey Global Institute director Jonathan Woetzel concurred, saying that technology could be a tool and an enabler to reduce negative externalities caused by urbanization.”

Government seeks more PPP funds

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati says the government is pursuing ‘public-private partnerships’ “The Finance Ministry has decided to enhance the role of public-private partnerships (PPP) to boost the construction of public facilities and export financing as it announced on Monday infrastructure projects set to be financed through the scheme. Sri Mulyani, a former WB managing director, assigned four of the Finance Ministry-backed financing firms to help mediate funds from the government and the private sector, and plan their utilization for eight infrastructure projects.”

Ministry offers Komodo Airport for private concession

The transportation ministry has offered Komodo airport for a private concession. “Wisnu Wijaya Soedibjo, acting deputy for investment at the Coordinating Investment Board (BKPM), said the government was offering a 25-year concession contract worth Rp 1.17 trillion (US$78.5 million) and an additional Rp 1.83 trillion for operational expenditure. ‘The PPP will not only help solve the government's budget limitations, but will also allow private firms with more experience and expertise to manage infrastructure projects more efficiently,’ he said during Komodo Airport's market sounding seminar in Jakarta.”

In Jakarta, a Women’s Movement Leads the Fight Against Water Privatization

In Jakarta, a women’s movement is leading the fight against water privatization. Peoples Dispatch spoke to Dinda Nuur Anisaa Yura from Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity for Human Rights) about the movement against water privatization. “If the RCEP [Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a mega free trade deal] comes, then there will not only be two companies to control the water resources, but it will further privatize water in Indonesia. There are very few communities who can still access water for free now and in the future, with RCEP and other trade agreements, we will have much less access to water resources as all of it will be grabbed [by corporates] and it will cost us our sovereignty.”

Source: NewsClick

Group challenges judicial review on water privatization

Indonesia: The Coalition of Jakarta Residents Opposed to Water Privatization (KMMSAJ) has submitted to the Central Jakarta District Court a counter memorandum to the judicial review on the water privatization case filed by the Finance Ministry. “‘The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of civil society. We're very disappointed that the Finance Ministry still cannot accept it,’ the plaintiffs' representative, Nurhidayah, said on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com. Through the judicial review, the Finance Ministry is attempting to challenge the Supreme Court's decision.”

Source: The Jakarta Post

Jakarta's water woes

A court victory has rewarded civil society efforts to end water privatization in the Indonesian capital but many questions remain unanswered. Jakarta’s water privatization story began in June 1991, when the World Bank agreed to lend the city’s public water utility, PAM Jaya, $92 million for infrastructure improvements but also pushed for privatization.

Source: New Internationalist