Now that the Preparatory Committee Meetings for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Prepcom IV) has come and gone, the substantial costs of hosting that conference are slowly being calculated.
In comments before Parliamentary Committee VII in Jakarta on June 13, the Minister for the Environment, Nabiel Makarim, told the lawmakers that the total costs incurred by the Government for Prepcom IV in late May and early June totaled Rp. 70.5 billion or approximately US$8.2 million.
According to the Minister, the original promise of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to donate US$ 5.5 million towards the cost of the event was reduced to a contribution of only US$ 2.8 million.
He also revealed that original calculations by the Government that the cost of holding the event would only cost the government Rp. 30 billion, quickly ballooned to Rp. 70 billion in the face of higher accommodation and transportation costs when President Megawati Soekarnoputri suddenly moved the conference from Jakarta to Bali, only two months before the actual event.
Indonesia, as the host for such an event, is required to shoulder the cost of the conference.
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