Update News May 08, 2017


In The News



Minister Jonan inaugurates gas network in Surabaya   
Antara News, 08/05/2017

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan inaugurated a gas network which connects 24 thousand household consumers in East Java.

"Household consumers using gas network connections can save on Rp20 thousand per month," Minister Jonan said when inaugurating the gas network for household consumers at the Penjaringan Sari flat, Rungkut, here on Sunday.

The gas network is built at a cost of Rp221.9 billion taken from the state budget.

Jonan said gas network connecting tens of thousands of household consumers is built based on the directives of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

The president has asked for gas development based on equitable distribution for economically weak citizens.

"In accordance with the governments policy, gas development is mainly designed for electricity and modest household consumers," the minister stated.

The government is also accelerating its LPG- (liquefied petroleum gas-) to-natural gas conversion program.

Every year, he said, the government allocates a fund from the state budget for the expansion of gas networks in various regions.

The development of the gas networks is designed for the people of the middle class and below so that they can enjoy clean and safe gas with a relatively low price.

"The state budget should be used for something needed by the people of the lowest class," Jonan said.

The gas needs amounting to 0.6 million metric standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) in Surabaya are supplied by PT Pertamina Hulu Energi West Madura Offshore.

According to the minister the length of the pipe network that connects 24 thousand households in Surabaya totaled 196 kilometers.

Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini appreciated the efforts of the minister and the state-owned gas distributor PGN to build gas network connections for 24 thousand household consumers.

"This gas program is very helpful to residents because they can save on their spending. It is practical and is ready any time with clean and safe supplies," she said.

Oil and Gas Director General I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja Puja added that the government has built gas connections for 186 thousand household consumers in 14 provinces in the period of 2009-2016.

The development is carried out through the assignment of two state companies PT PGN and PT Pertamina.

In 2016, the government built 89 thousand connections for households in six cities, of which 24 thousand are in Surabaya.

He said that besides efficiency for consumers, the development of gas connections for households also reduced the countrys LPG imports by 20 thousand tons per annum. The network in Surabaya alone reduced the imports by 2,600 tons yearly.

"The government can save up to Rp131 billion a year," the director general said.

In 2017, the government will build a network of gas for 59 thousand connections in 16 regions. "One connection needs an investment of Rp10 million," he added.(*)

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Tax Revenue Improved after Tax Amnesty Program
Tempo.co, 08/05/2017

Director General of Tax of the Finance Ministry Ken Dwijugiasteadi has claimed that tax revenue has improved after the implementation of the tax amnesty program.

Data from Directorate General of Tax (Tax DG) as at April 30 show that tax revenue stands at Rp343.7 trillion, an increase of 18.19 percent compared to the same period last year.

Ken said that all data collected during the tax amnesty program enable the Tax DG to collect more revenue.

He said that the amount of tax revenue is the highest in the last 10 years. “After tax amnesty, there is no more incorrect tax [data],” Ken said last week.

A total of 4,734.31 trillion in declared assets by the completion of the tax amnesty program has been lauded as the largest amount managed to be collected by a country in history.

However, the government failed to meet the target of Rp165 trillion in repatriated assets, collecting only Rp146.69 trillion.

Director for tax potential, compliance and revenue Yon Arsal said that tax revenue growth for January-April 2017 was close to the government’s target of 18.23 percent.

A significant amount of tax revenue came from value-added taxes (VAT). Domestic VAT reached Rp68.8 trillion or rose by 16.67 percent compared to last year, whereas import VAT hit Rp44.8 trillion or an increase compared to last year at Rp37.7 trillion. “The VAT [amount] is a positive signal that the economy is running [well],” Yon said.

Arsal claims that tax revenue has increased thanks to the tax amnesty program. It improved by 20 percent on a year on year basis in April 2017.

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Director General of Tax of the Finance Ministry Ken Dwijugiasteadi has claimed that tax revenue has improved after the implementation of the tax amnesty program.

Data from Directorate General of Tax (Tax DG) as at April 30 show that tax revenue stands at Rp343.7 trillion, an increase of 18.19 percent compared to the same period last year.

Ken said that all data collected during the tax amnesty program enable the Tax DG to collect more revenue.

He said that the amount of tax revenue is the highest in the last 10 years. “After tax amnesty, there is no more incorrect tax [data],” Ken said last week.

A total of 4,734.31 trillion in declared assets by the completion of the tax amnesty program has been lauded as the largest amount managed to be collected by a country in history.

However, the government failed to meet the target of Rp165 trillion in repatriated assets, collecting only Rp146.69 trillion.

Director for tax potential, compliance and revenue Yon Arsal said that tax revenue growth for January-April 2017 was close to the government’s target of 18.23 percent.

A significant amount of tax revenue came from value-added taxes (VAT). Domestic VAT reached Rp68.8 trillion or rose by 16.67 percent compared to last year, whereas import VAT hit Rp44.8 trillion or an increase compared to last year at Rp37.7 trillion. “The VAT [amount] is a positive signal that the economy is running [well],” Yon said.

Arsal claims that tax revenue has increased thanks to the tax amnesty program. It improved by 20 percent on a year on year basis in April 2017.

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Govt to Build Flyovers in Batam
Tempo.co, 08/05/2017

Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry’s  Region III National Highway Construction Agency (BBPJN) Head Junaidi stated that a number of flyovers will be built in five intersections in Batam.

The construction of flyovers includes 310 meters of Simpang Punggur intersection, 123 meters of Simpang Kuda intersection, 430 meters of Simpang Kabil intersection, 165 meters of Simpang Jam intersection, and 150 meters of Sudirman street in Batam.

Junaidi explained that the construction of flyovers is intended to resolve traffic jam. Out of five flyovers, Jam intersection is targeted to complete this year. The progress of the construction has reached 59.43 percent.

The construction began in 2015 with a budget of Rp 180 million. Flyover Simpang Jam will be a new icon of Batam since its walls will be made artistic and decorated by lamps.

In the following year, one of the other flyovers will be built. “Next year we plan to kick off the construction of Simpang Kabil flyover,” Junaidi said on Saturday (6/5).

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RI`s President to enhance maritime sector for people`s welfare
Antara News, 08/05/2017

Indonesias President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is committed to intensifying the efforts to enhance maritime economic sector for peoples welfare, as the sea had been ignored for a long time.

"In fact, our wealth is in the sea, our natural resources are in the sea," he said in his remarks during a maritime cultural fiesta called Mappanretasi in Pagatan beach, Tanah Bambu Sub-district, Tanah Bambu District, South Kalimantan Province, on Sunday.

The Indonesian President claims that the maritime sector could contribute Rp17 thousand trillion or about US$125 billion per year to the domestic economy.

"The maritime resources is the key to increase our peoples welfare and economic equality," noted Widodo.

Therefore, President reassured his commitment to develop the blue economy, including by establishing deep sea ports and combating illegal fishing in the Indonesian waters.

While attending the event, President Jokowi, who was given a traditional title called "Kapiteng Lau Pulo" by the Tanah Bambus society, said the Sea fiesta is one of proofs that the people live in harmony with the oceans since a long time ago.

During his visit in Tanah Bambu District, President Jokowi presented also Smart Indonesia Cards (KIP), supplement food (PMT), Family of Hope Program assistance (PKH), and Healthy Indonesia Cards (KIS) to local people.

On Sunday afternoon, he will present land certificates to several villagers in Tambang Ulang Sub-district, Tanah Laut District.

In the evening, the President and the First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo will stay overnight in Banjarmasin, the capital of South Kalimantan before leaving for Ternate, North Maluku.

Members of his entourage include Minister of Education and Culture Muhadjir Effendy, Health Minister Nila Moeloek and chief of the presidential staff Teten Masduki.(*)

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President Jokowi opens KTNA National Week in Aceh
Antara News, 08/05/2017

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) officially opened the 17th National Week (Penas) of the Andalan Farmers and Fishermen Association (KTNA), which is centered at Harapan Bangsa Stadium, Lhoong Raya, Banda Aceh, on Saturday.

The opening of a national-level event conducted directly by the president in Aceh Province was marked by the beating of tambo in the presence of Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman and Governor of Aceh Zaini Abdullah.

"I am very happy, and I was indeed waiting to meet the farmers and fishermen from all over the country," Jokowi stated on the sidelines of the opening the national event that took place in Aceh.

He noted that there would be no food without the farmers who work hard and no fish without fishermen who work hard.

"We must love the farmers and fishermen who have worked hard," Jokowi, who greeted the participants and invited guests who crowded Lhoong Raya stadium, Banda Aceh, said.

On the sidelines of opening the KTNA Penas, which will be held from May 6 to 11, 2017, Jokowi also had asked a number of corn and cocoa farmers to have direct discussions and reveal their achievements."These farmers words will be a motivation for other too," he asserted.

Jokowi was accompanied by his wife Iriana and several ministers of the working cabinet during the visit to Indonesias westernmost province.

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Agricultural infrastructure development to continue: President
Antara News, 08/05/2017

 President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) gave an assurance here on Saturday that the development of agricultural infrastructure, such as dams, reservoirs, secondary, and tertiary irrigation networks in the country, would continue to assure water supply for farming.

"Water is key to farming. Farming is not possible without water," he said, while opening the 15th National Week of Farmers and Fishermen in Harapan Bangsa stadium in Gampong Lhong Raya, Banda Aceh.

Jokowi stated that according to the head of press, media and information bureau of the Presidential Secretariat, Bey Machmudin, 49 big dams, spreading from Sabang (Sumatra) to Merauke (Papua in the east), were currently being built by the government.

"There are many dams, but they are mostly in East Nusa Tenggara that needs water the most," the president noted.

He also added that he has ordered the minister of agriculture and the minister of village and backward region development and transmigration to build small water reservoirs. "Our target is to complete 30 thousand reservoirs this year," he remarked.

The government has also pledged to complete the development of secondary and tertiary irrigation networks this year as had been promised by minister of agriculture Amran Sulaiman three years ago.

"The minister of agriculture said it has covered three million hectares. I have not counted but the minister has. Hence, it should not be lesser than that," Jokowi stated.

He appealed to the provincial governors, city mayors, and district heads to start finding crops that sell well. "We must not focus only on certain crops," he revealed.

For example, cacao and coffee are commodities that sell well. "With regard to cacao, domestic demand is high, but supply is still short. The price of coffee also keeps increasing," he pointed out.

Recounting his experience during his stay in Aceh years ago, Jokowi stressed that he enjoyed drinking "Gayo" coffee (local coffee) almost every morning. "Gayo coffee tastes very good," he exclaimed.

However, he also believed that coffee in other regions in the country also are very special and have a good price. "Therefore, we have to cultivate them or rejuvenate them," he reiterated.

Another commodity that the president mentioned was cashew nut. "Cashew nuts also sell well, and we should cultivate them," he added.

At the opening of his speech, Jokowi expressed his happiness to be able to meet farmers and fishermen. "I have indeed been looking forward to this event to meet you all," he stated.

He said that during childhood he has often heard people saying that it was only because of the hard work of farmers that we get food and only because of fishermen's efforts we get fish."Therefore, we must love our farmers and fishermen," he said.

Regarding the price of corn, Jokowi said he could not forget the anger and complaints by farmers regarding the high price of corn, which was at between Rp1.5 thousand to Rp1.7 thousand per kilogram then.

"We made a big loss. The prices dropped only because our imports were big," he said, quoting the farmers.

Corn imports had reached 3.6 million tons then. He then ordered the minister of agriculture to stop corn imports for five years.

Two years later, the government then issued a Presidential Instruction to set the price of corn at Rp2.7 thousand per kilogram. He confirmed the price with the minister of agriculture.

Following the instructions, farmers were encouraged to grow corn, and by the end of 2016, corn imports had dropped to only 900 thousand tons.

"This is the result of farmers hard work. The price has gone up. We hope this year there will be no corn imports as they have now been recorded at only 900 thousand tons after reaching 3.6 million tons. God willing, this year, there will be no more imports as we have been able to meet domestic demands," he explained.

On the occasion, Jokowi invited some farmers and fishermen to the podium to share their experiences as well as inputs to the government. Afterwards, the president awarded them bicycles.

Jokowi was accompanied by First Lady Iriana, Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman, Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, and Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah.

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Minister Mulls Establishing Sea Connectivity of Maluku-Australia
Tempo.co, 08/05/2017

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi plans to establish sea connectivity between Indonesia’s Maluku and Australia to boost the fishery industry.

Budi Karya said that he will choose between the cities of Saumlaki and Tual in Maluku that will be connected to Darwin in Australia.

“[I have plans to establish the sea connectivity] because if the fish here have to first be transported to Surabaya, they will no longer be fresh; we will make an assessment,” Budi said in a press statement yesterday.

He said that the ministry will refer the issue to a limited meeting with President Jokowi. He added that both north and south Maluku are home to fishing centers. If the plan materializes, the fishing centers will be able to export fish.

Moreover, Minister Budi will encourage private firms to help develop Tual port in cooperation with the government to avoid heavy reliance on the state budget (APBD).

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Jokowi's Approval Rating among Papuans Hit 77 Percent 
Tempo.co, 08/05/2017

The approval rating of President Joko Widodo alias Jokowi among Papuans hits 77 percent, Jakarta-based pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia researcher Hendro Prasetya said. “The next challenge is to fulfill Jokowi’s [campaign] promises,” Hendro said last week in Jakarta.

A survey conducted by Indikator on March 23 to April 3 involving 710 Papua residents aged 17 and above finds that 13 percent Papuans are satisfied with Jokowi’s performance. Moreover, 76.2 percent say that they will re-elect Jokowi if the election was held now.

The figure is above that of Gerindra’s Prabowo Subianto at 5.8 percent and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama alias Ahok at 5 percent. “Jokowi’s current popularity is formidable in Papua,” he said.

Hendro stressed that Papuans are aware of all the issues surrounding the region, such as the progress of the so-called sea toll project, one-price fuel policy, and Freeport contract row. “The programs should be taken seriously. The people are aware of them and expect them to materialize,” Hendro said.

Indikator’s survey also shows that Papuans also highlighted four major issues in the region. Some 17 percent respondents are concerned about fresh water availability, 14 stressed the importance of fixing potholes and lowering staple food prices. Meanwhile, 11 percent respondents see electricity supply as a major problem.

Political analyst with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) Syamsuddin Haris said that President Jokowi’s ability to fulfill his campaign promises may shape Papuan’s perception of Indonesia.

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