The new permit will allow KCIC to start development of the railway on land owned by state-owned enterprises (SOE) that are members of the high-speed railway consortium.
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Arief Kamaludin|KATADATA

The Ministry of Transport has announced it will issue more public rail development permits to Kereta Cepat Indonesia Cina (KCIC), to build 40 percent of the 142 km Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway.

Director General of Railway Transportation at the ministry Prasetyo Boeditjahjono said the ministry would issue a permit for the development of 56 km of the railway next week. Three months ago, the ministry issued a permit to develop 5 km of the railway project.

The new permit will allow KCIC to start development of the railway on land owned by state-owned enterprises (SOE) that are members of the high-speed railway consortium. “Basically, the land is owned by Perkebunan Nusantara VIII, Jasa Marga, and Kereta Api Indonesia, like the station in Padalarang,” said Prasetyo after a meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission V at the DPR/ MPR building in Jakarta, Tuesday (21/6).

(Read: High-Speed Railway Project to be Completed in May 2019, Costs Lowered by IDR 5 Trillion)

Prasetyo confirmed that the Transport Ministry will continue to issue permits to KCIC to develop the high-speed rail project provided that KCIC must be able to confirm the status of the land that will be used for the project. The company must confirm whether the land is rented or owned to avoid problems in the future.

“I don't want to grant a development permit, and then the land turns out to be belong to someone (a private citizen). That's a crime,” said Prasetyo.

Minister of Transport Ignasius Jonan previously asked KCIC to purchase all the land that will be used for the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project. Meanwhile, KCIC requested to keep the procured land after its concession agreement with the government expires.

“We can’t do that. On principle, the rail infrastructure must be returned to the state after the concession period expires,” said Jonan.

(Read: Jonan Instructs KCIC to Buy All Land Needed for High-Speed Train)

Then Director General of Railway Transportation Hermanto Dwiatmoko said if the government needed to spend money to purchase and rent land, it would be the same as providing a guarantee for the high-speed train project even though the agreement states there would be no kind of government guarantee for this project.

“So what they meant was if the land is rented, then it's not owned by KCIC. So it won't be returned to the state. That's strange,” Hermanto said.

Aside from obtaining a construction permit, KCIC has also obtained a business permit for the development of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project. The permit was issued pursuant to Decree of the Minister of Transport No. KP 160/ 2016 concerning Issuance of a Business Permit to Kereta Cepat Indonesia China for the Development of the Jakarta to Bandung High-Speed Railway.

This business permit is valid for 30 years from the date the decree was issued on March 17, 2016. When it expires, KCIC will be able to extend the permit for another 20 years. “20 years is the maximum extension,” said Hermanto.