Govt to mend regulation to uphold ore export restriction
Amahl S. Azwar
The Jakarta Post
The government is currently drafting a new regulation to adjust with the court’s ruling in a bid to ensure that the policy on ore exports remains intact.
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said in Jakarta on Tuesday that the government would retain its rule to limit the exports of unprocessed minerals, vowing to remain committed to promoting value-added products in its mining business despite a recent court ruling forbidding exports.
“We are polishing [the law] so that our objective of promoting the downstream industry can be smoothly achieved,” Jero told reporters after his meeting with top government officials at his office in Jakarta on Tuesday evening.
Also attending the meeting were Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa, Industry Minister MS Hidayat, Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi and Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s director general for mineral and coal Thamrin Sihite.
The officials held a meeting to discuss the government’s appropriate response regarding the Supreme Court’s verdict on Sept. 12 that ordered the government to withdraw four chapters in the Energy and Mineral Resources
Ministerial Decree No. 7 on mineral processing.
One of the chapters limited the exports of raw minerals since May 6 with only mining companies — excluding big names working under contracts of works with the central government — that received clean status for their business licenses and showing commitment to establishing smelters that would only be granted mineral ore export permits.
The export tax was meant to prevent the exploitations of mineral ores ahead of the implementation of the government’s plan to fully prohibit exports of unprocessed metals beginning in 2014, as stipulated in the 2009 Mining Law.
The decree applies to the export of 65 mineral commodities, excluding coal, in which a 20 percent export tax is also imposed.
“There is no intention from the government to put the local mining companies in jeopardy. We just want to ensure that mining business in the country will have an added value, as stipulated in the Law,” Jero said in a separate interview on Tuesday.
Hatta said that the Law and Human Rights Ministry would also be involved in the evaluation process of the ministerial decree.
“Irrespective of the Supreme Court’s ruling, we will remain consistent in promoting the downstream industry of our mineral resources business. The law has mandated us that we must implement the policy of promoting our value-added starting 2014,” Hatta said after the meeting.
Hatta also cited an Indonesian Law that obliges the Supreme Court to halt the processing of a review filed by those objecting a supporting regulation of a Law that was currently under a judicial review by the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court is currently reviewing the 2009 Mining Law, of which the Ministerial Decree in question is a supporting regulation. (sat)
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