The Indonesian Finance Ministry is mulling providing additional funding of 1.6 trillion Rp proposed by the local National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to handle ongoing forest fires.
Speaking to the press on September 26, Askolani, the ministry’s budgeting director general to Tempo in Jakarta, Thursday, September 26, said the funds might be disbursed as the government has listed the emergency funds in the 2019 state budget.
The available funds, he said, would be sufficient for the agency to settle the forest fires until the year’s end.
Forest and land fires in several areas of Sumatra and Kalimantan are still raging. The BNPB head Doni Monardo said 328,724 hectares of land, including 86,563 hectares of peatlands, have burned down so far this year.
Indonesia has deployed thousands of personnel and dozens of helicopters to put out fires. Currently, haze from the country is seriously affecting neighbouring countries.
Forest fires often occur in Indonesia over land clearing activities for palm oil plantation and paper production. But the fires often rage out of control especially during the dry season./.