2 May 2013

Indonesia to audit Papua funds, President considers greater autonomy

4:21 pm on 2 May 2013

Indonesia's Supreme Audit Agency has announced it will conduct an audit on special autonomy funds channelled to Papua and West Papua provinces.

The Jakarta Globe reports the audit is a move by Indonesian legislators to determine why the easternmost provinces remain among Indonesia's poorest and underdeveloped.

The announcement comes as the president Susilo Bambang Yudhyono indicated Papua region may be granted more autonomy as a solution to the persistent problems there.

The central government has disbursed more than 4 billion US dollars to Papua region since it was granted special autonomy status in 2001.

However unemployment is rife and poverty rates are at 30 percent of people in Papua and 27 percent in West Papua, both resource-rich provinces which provide significant revenue for Jakarta.

Meanwhile, the President has told Papua's new Governor Lukas Enembe that he is considering providing Papua with greater autonomy.

Yudhoyono says the so-called "Special Autonomy Plus" would be implemented by August.