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.
Firefighters work in Riau, Indonesia, on September 23
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 haslisted the emergency funds in the 2019 state budget.
The available funds, he said, would besufficient for the agency to settle the forest fires until the year’s end.
Forest and land fires in several areas ofSumatra and Kalimantan are still raging. The BNPB head Doni Monardo said328,724 hectares of land, including 86,563 hectares of peatlands, have burneddown so far this year.
Indonesia has deployed thousands ofpersonnel and dozens of helicopters to put out fires. Currently, haze from thecountry is seriously affecting neighbouring countries.
Forest fires often occur in Indonesia overland clearing activities for palm oil plantation and paper production. But thefires often rage out of control especially during the dry season./.VNA