National Government Organisation (NGO) urge Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Parliament to stop mineral and mining bill discussion. Photo by: Special

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian House of Representatives resumed talks over new mineral and coal law to replace the then-law number 4 of 2009 in a working meeting with the energy and mineral resources (EMR) ministry on Wednesday (11/27). The talks stalled prior this month as its problem inventory list was not approved by the relevant ministries.

Before the House’s Commission VII who oversees the energy sector, EMR minister Arifin Tasrif explained the 13 points in this revision, consisting of six government proposals and seven government and parliament proposals.

“For the government’s proposal, the first is solving inter-sectoral problems. Second, strengthening the concept of mining areas. Third, strengthening the added value policy,” Tasrif said.

The fourth point of the government’s proposal is to encourage exploration activities for the discovery of mineral deposits. Fifth, a clearer arrangement for the change of Work Contract/Coal Mining Work Agreement to a Special Mining Business License and the sixth is the strengthening of state-owned enterprises.

Meantime, the seventh government and parliament proposal includes, first, to strengthen the government’s role in fostering and overseeing the regional government. Second, rearrangement of community mining licenses and the third proposal on special arrangements for concessionary permits.

“The fourth proposal is rearrangement related to the period of Mining Business Permit or Special Mining Business Permit. The fifth proposal is a rearrangement related to the mining permit area,” he said.

The sixth proposal, he went on, is to accommodate the ruling of the Constitutional Court and Law Number 23 of 2014 (concerning Regional Government Law). Then, the seventh proposal is related to the environment, the minister adds.

Previously, former EMR minister Ignasius Jonan had revealed that the problem inventory list needed for the revision could still not be submitted as four of the five ministries involved in the discussion have not given approval. The four ministries are the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

About the revision, the civil society coalition considers that the need for discussion on the revision has not been spared from smoothing the exploitation of natural resources. Because there are points about no mining area limits.

Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (JATAM) explained that the draft law eliminates the article on criminal snares for officials who are proven to abuse the authority to grant mining permits. In the inventory list, there was an article that was omitted related to the corruption article, namely article 165.

The JATAM spokesman Melky Nahar stated the ratification pattern of the bill that seems haphazard and the rash is also inseparable from the conflict of interests of some members of parliament in the business of natural resources.

“The current law says that officials who misuse mining permits can be convicted of corruption. This is omitted in the bill revision,” he said in a written statement to InsiderStories.

He considered the acceleration of the discussion, seemed like an effort to accommodate the extension of a number of companies holding agreements that had been and would expire in the near future.

Furthermore, there is a change in article 169 in the draft that makes companies that hold a contract of work and work agreement get an automatic extension for ten years in the form of a special mining business permit.

“In addition, the addition of article 115 A, which has the potential to criminalize citizens who express their rights to refuse to mine. The regulation reinforces article 162 of the old law,” he ended.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com