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Jakarta Post

Businesses shut in Batam following call to abolish land rental fee

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam, Riau Islands   /   Mon, November 14, 2016   /  03:59 pm
 Businesses shut in Batam following call to abolish land rental fee Public demand: People wait outside a production facility at Batamindo Industrial Park in Batam, Riau Islands. Local residents have intensified pressure on the regional authorities to abolish a mandatory land rental fee charged to businesses and residents. (JP/Fadli)

Most traders at two major business centers in Batam, Riau Islands, decided to halt activities on Monday following a call from a local group to put pressure on the regional authorities to abolish a mandatory land rental fee charged to local residents.

Many stores in Nagoya and Batam Center remained shut on Monday as their owners said they had received leaflets asking them to temporarily close their businesses in support of a campaign to demand the abolition of the so-called Authority Mandatory Annual Fee (UWTO).

“We were afraid to open up our store as we were asked to halt operations for the next three days,” Komar, who owns a fruit store in Nagoya, told The Jakarta Post.

The UWTO refers to mandatory annual fees charged by the Batam Indonesia Free Trade Zone Authority (BP Batam) to those occupying land in the industrial region. The fees will be then allocated to support infrastructure and public facility development.

In response to the situation, Riau Islands Police said they were questioning two activists from the People’s Alliance to Challenge the UWTO (Geram) for allegedly distributing the leaflets and disrupting economic activity in the area.

“We have asked store owners to resume their activities, as the police will guarantee their security,” Riau Islands Police spokesperson Adj. Sr. Comr. S Erlangga said. (hwa)

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