Deputy chairman of the House of Representatives’ Commission II on regional autonomy, Ganjar Pranowo, said that lawmakers would support a proposal for the formation of a new province in the southern part of Papua.
“South Papua should become a priority destination and it meets the requirements for becoming a third province, after Papua and West Papua,” Ganjar said as quoted by tribunnews.com.
One of the initiators of the establishment of South Papua, Johanes Gluba Gebze, said the region met all the requirements to become an independent province.
He added that five regencies: Asmat, Boven, Mappi, Merauke and Muyu were ready to be included in the new province.
A new South Papua province would cover an area of 119,749 square kilometers, which is rich in natural resources.
Many have said that the setting up of a new province would allow local elites to obtain more funding from the government.
The government is due to raise special autonomy funding for Papua to Rp 4.3 trillion ( US$450.5 million ) next year from this year’s Rp 3.10 trillion, and to Rp 1.8 trillion for West Papua from this year’s Rp 1.33 trillion.