Update News October 06, 2017

In The News

Indonesia, Norway Agree on Marine Conservation Efforts
TEMPO.CO 06 october 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia and Norway have agreed on marine conservation efforts. The partnership deal was made in a meeting between Marine and Fishery Minister Susi Pudjiastuti and Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment Vidar Helgesen in Malta on Wednesday.

“Indonesia needs support from countries that share the same vision in marine protection. We believe that Norway is one of them,” Minister Susi said in a written statement received by Tempo yesterday, Oct. 5.

The government has been implementing marine conservation programs through marine conservation areas, coral reefs preservation and mangrove conservation in coastal areas. The minister said that the government is committed to establishing 20 million hectares of marine conservation areas by 2018.

Minister Susi suggests that the Norwegian government disburse funds to improve Indonesia marine condition through the country’s Norway Ocean Trust Fund. A similar assistance had earlier been provided in the program of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation dan Forest Degradation (REDD+).

“If a marine area is destroyed, other areas will be affected. Marine protection in Indonesia will reduce the effects of climate change.”

Mr. Vidar said that the agreement is aimed at seeking solutions to the ocean plastic pollution problem.

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Jokowi Inaugurates Coal Fired Power Plant Worth 6bn USD
TEMPO.CO 06 october 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has inaugurated a coal fired power plant (PLTU) with a capacity of 660 MW and broken ground on three others in Serang, Banten. The four projects are part of the 35,000 MW power generation project.

Three power plants that are being constructed are PLTU Jawa 7, Jawa 9 and Jawa 10, developed by a subsidiary of state-owned electricity company PT PLN.

PLTU Jawa 9 and Jawa 10 are located in the area of PLTU Suralaya. The facility is designed to have a capacity of up to 2 x 1000 MW with US$3 billion investment. The cost of power generation is expected to be at US 5.99 cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

“The PLTU adopts ultra-supercritical technology which is environmentally friendly and allows higher energy conversion efficiency compared to the previous PLTU conventional technology,” the Energy Ministry spokesman Dadan Kusdiana stated in a press release received by Tempo yesterday.

The Energy Ministry expects PLTU Jawa 9 and 10 to begin operations by 2022. A 25-year power purchase agreement has been signed by the developer and PLN.

PLTU Jawa 7 is also expected to have the same capacity with PLTU Jawa 9 and 10. But the investment is cheaper at US$1.88 billion. The cost of power generation of the facility is also lower at US 4.21 cent per kWh. Jawa 7 power plant will be operational by 2020 or 2 years before PLTU Jawa 9 and 10.

Jokowi also inaugurated coal terminal with a capacity of 20 million ton built by PT PLN Batubara together with Gama Corp. According to Dadan, the terminal will store coal produced in the western area of Java. “The aim is to maintain the security of coal supply during bad weather because coal is hauled by vessels, reduce capital expenditure in each PLTU and efficiency of coal hauling cost,” he noted.

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Minister Budi Confident MRT, LRT Projects on Schedule  
TEMPO.CO 06 October 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi is confident that Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects will be completed on schedule. “I promise that there will be no delay,” Budi said in Jakarta on October 5.

The MRT project will be completed by 2018, whereas Bekasi-Bogor LRT project is expected to be completed by 2019.

The confidence is in line with President Joko Widodo’s instruction to develop the two mass transit projects according to plan and to function properly, he said.

Budi said that the construction of 16-km long South–North Lanes in Phase I (Lebak Bulus–HI Roundabout) in the MRT project is ongoing. The project is 78.01 percent complete with Rp14 trillion investment and is expected to begin operations in March 2019.

Meanwhile, the LRT project was 19.20 percent complete as of September.

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China to Disburse USD1bn for Jakarta - Bandung Train Project
TEMPO.CO 06 October 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - China Development Bank will disburse 500 million to 1 billion U.S. dollar for the Jakarta - Bandung high-speed train project.

“The funds will only be disbursed next month. We will ask gradually,” State-Owned Enterprise Minister Rini Sumarno said on October 5.

Rini said that that the ministry is having troubles with acquiring lands and determining the project location.

The government earlier expected to build the railway alongside Jakarta-Bandung toll road. However, the challenging land’s contour forced the government to move the project 43 km away from the toll road.

Moreover, the government will have to build 22 tunnels in the high-speed train project. A more detailed and longer study will be needed for the construction.

Rini said that the government has started the high-speed train project from Walini area and will begin construction this month.

The construction of a tunnel in Halim, Jakarta, is expected to take up to 26 months. “The construction [of the will be completed by February 2020,” she said.

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Aceh poised to become main tourism destination
ANTARA News 06 October 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Province of Aceh is intensively developing its tourism sector in an effort to become one of the main tourism destinations in the western region of Indonesia.

In order to realize its dream of becoming a main tourism destination, Aceh province will learn from the experience of other provinces that have been successful and advanced in their tourism.

Besides that, it is also holding a working meeting for the national tour guide association to boost tourism services and train tour guides, especially on the Islamic sharia in the province.

"We are convinced that by sharing experiences, Aceh would be able to emulate the success of other regions. Through this support, we believe that Aceh will emerge as one of the main tourism destinations in the western regions of Indonesia," Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf said, in written address read out by Aceh Regional Government Assistant II, Syaiba Ibrahim, at the opening of the National Working Meeting of the Indonesian Tour Guides Association (HPI) in Banda Aceh, on Wednesday (Oct 4).

Known as the Veranda of Mecca, Aceh is a province located at the tip of the island of Sumatra and also the western tip of Indonesia. It apparently has many exotic and amazing tourist attractions. Thus, visiting it can provide a different and exciting experience.

Aceh is famous for its beautiful nature and beaches flanked by both Indian Ocean and Malacca Straits. The sensational beauty often makes tourists want to return to visit and enjoy it again. There are not only beaches but also many other places that are also interesting to visit and admire.

Aceh tourism objects are no less interesting than those of other cities in Indonesia. Despite the heartbreaking history of the tsunami in late 2004, the natural disaster has even added to the attraction of visitors to get closer to nature and the city of Aceh. 

The popular tourist destinations in Aceh include Lampuuk Beach, Ulee Lheue Beach, Lhoknga Beach, Suhom Waterfall, Rubiah Island, Tsunami Museum, and Baiturrahman Great Mosque.

This is only a small number of the hundreds of other tourist destinations in Aceh.

According to Yusuf, Aceh has at least 808 interesting locations that could be developed to achieve the provinces dream of becoming a major tourism destination in the western part of Indonesia.

"The government continues to improve facilities and infrastructure in all tourist areas in an effort to make the guests comfortable," Yusuf remarked.

He explained that there are hundreds of tourism destinations in Aceh province, consisting of 426 natural tourism areas, 268 cultural tourism areas, and 114 special interest tourism areas. According to him, the presence of guides is very important and needs to be strengthened in order to support the development of the tourism sector in the province.

The Government of Aceh also expressed hoped that the HPI working meeting in Aceh would be able to serve as a means to strengthen the presence of guides on the Mecca Veranda.

The governor has urged other regions that have been successful in developing tour guides to share their experiences with Aceh, so that efforts to improve the tourism sector in Aceh could be realized in the future.

"We are confident that by sharing experience, Aceh will be able to become one of the main tourist destinations in the western part of Indonesia," he added.

Chairman of the HPI Central Executive Board, Sang Putu Subaya, appreciated the initiative of the Aceh Government in supporting the DPD activities of HPI Aceh and supporting the implementation of the 17th HPI National Workshop in Aceh.

"We believe that through the support and cooperation of the Aceh Government, the ideals to promote tourism in Indonesia and increase the number of tourist arrivals, especially in Aceh, will be achieved," he asserted.

Subaya added that if the tourism sector develops well, then other business sectors will automatically be boosted, and the business activities of society will also be increased.

Hence, Yusuf is of the view that the development of tourism is also supported by the presence of tour guides who provide services to the tourists.

"The main factor for developing the tourism sector not only depends on the interesting tourist areas, the complete facilities and infrastructure, and culture but also on the tour guides," Yusuf revealed.

The governor explained that the existence of HPI, as an organization of the tour guides in the country, should be strengthened in order to play an optimal role in training and empowering members to do the best for the progress of Indonesian tourism.

He added that the duty of the guides, among others, was to arrange the trip of travelers to the destination, provide explanations about travel and attractions, take care of travel documents and luggage of tourists, and provide them assistance.

"Given the importance of the existence of tour guides, it is natural that the government, through the Ministry of Tourism, enforces the certification process for every tour guide working in the field, and the Aceh government is certainly very supportive of this policy," he explained.

The Government of Aceh has proposed that additional modules would be tested to prospective Aceh tour guides, namely the understanding of Islamic Sharia. With this understanding, tour guides can explain clearly about Islamic Sharia in order to prevent misinterpretation among tourists.

"We have determined that the tourism sector is one of the programs that will be developed within the next five years, which has the potential to improve the peoples welfare, because Aceh has many tourist areas with high selling value," he elaborated.(*)

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President attends commemoration of 72nd anniversary of Indonesian Military
ANTARA News 06 October 2017

Cilegon, Banten (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo and First Lady Iriana attended the commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the Indonesian Military (TNI) held at the PT Indah Kiat Port, Cilegon, Banten Province, on Thursday.

Based on ANTARAs observation, President Widodo was wearing a black suit and red tie and had to walk to the venue due to traffic congestion.

The president arrived at the honorary podium at around 8:30 a.m. local time after walking some two kilometers.

In his speech, the president lauded the spirit of the TNI members who serve the nation and state.

"On this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude for the commitment and professionalism demonstrated by all TNI members in upholding the Soldiers Oath and carrying out difficult tasks," the president remarked.

The head of state said the TNI should prioritize the state. The TNI should be loyal to the state, the Pancasila state philosophy, the Constitution or UUD 1945, and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

Loyalty to the interests of the nation and state means being committed to fighting for the interests of the people and to maintain the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

This years TNI anniversary is themed "Bersama Rakyat TNI Kuat," or Together with the people, the TNI is strong.

Some 1,800 military personnel will also demonstrate their pencak silat martial arts skills during the event, and 72 parachutists will circle the sky, with five carrying the flags of the three forces, the TNI headquarters, and the Red-and-White Indonesian flag.

The Armys special forces (Kopassus) are scheduled to showcase three Bushmaster armored vehicles, six P6 all-terrain assault vehicles, and three Jackal and nine Anoa armored personnel carriers. The Armys several artillery units will also be featured, including nine Astros Mk II and six multiple launch rocket systems.

The Navy is set to showcase 48 warships of various classes, 17 fixed-wing aircraft, and several trucks and other units.

The Air Force will showcase two Cessna 172 aircraft, two search and rescue and medevac choppers, two VVIP NAS-332 helicopters, six KT-1B trainers, one drone, two CN-295 medium transport aircraft, and one backup unit for free fall.

The Air Forces Jupiter Aerobatic Team comprising eight KT-1B aircraft and a Super Puma SAR helicopter will also put up a show.(*)

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Sri Mulyani warned not to be too easy in offering tax facility
ANTARA News 06 October 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Outspoken lawmaker has warned Finance Minister Sri Mulyani not to be too easy in offering tax facility for PT Freeport Indonesia, a US company which has large gold and copper mine in Papua. 

The Finance Ministry which supervises the Taxation Directorate General is responsible for state revenues from the taxation sector," Mukhammad Misbakhun of the Commission XI of the House of Representatives said here on Thursday. 

Misbakhun questioned the plan of the Finance Ministry to provide facility in tax dispensation for PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI).

He said there are a number of regulations on tax facilities such as the Law on Minerals and Coal, Law on Income Tax, and Contract of Work. 

"Which of the facilities is to be given to PTFI?" he said. 

He said the Finance Minister in speaking about tax facility should address all mining companies, adding PTFI should not the only one receiving tax facility. 

Certainly, there might be companies that do not deserve facilities. 

"The House of Representatives is ready to give support," he said. 

Earlier , Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said chapter 128 of the Law on Minerals and Coal, regulates fiscal treatment for mining business license (IUP) and special mining business license (IUPK).

Sri Mulyani said import duty and excises, non tax state revenues (PNPB) and regional income are not regulated explicitly in the Law on Minerals and Coal.

Chapter 169 of the Law on Minerals and Coal also gives exception for state revenues from holders of contract of work in a bid to increase government income. 

"Therefore, state revenues are not one item only. State revenues include in income tax, value added tax , royalty, and regional taxes including 10 percent production sharing," she said.

The Finance Ministry is preparing a draft regulation on the conversion of contract of work into IUPK.

"This would need fiscal and non fiscal obligations that need to regulated in new mining law," Sri Mulyani said.(*)

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Indonesia mulls to allow foreigners to own properties
The Jakarta Post 05 October 2017

The Indonesian government is preparing a land bill, which among other things, allows foreigners to own properties, whose construction is based on building-use permits (HGB).

“In the bill, the government proposes several changes, including to allow foreigners to have apartments, whose construction licenses are in the form of HGB,” Agrarian and Spatial Minister Sofyan Djalil said in Jakarta on Wednesday as reported by kontan.co.id.

The existing basic law prohibits foreigners from either fully owning plots of land or controlling property and land construction based on the HGB permit.

Sofyan, however, stressed the bill was still in its early stage, which would be discussed by government officials before it was submitted to the House of Representatives for deliberation. (bbn)

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Prince Charles to Susi: You are a pioneer
The Jakarta Post 05 October 2017

Britain’s Prince Charles lavished Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti with praises on Thursday for her stern policy in combating illegal fishing and ensuring sustainable fisheries.

The two met on the sidelines of the fourth Our Ocean Conference (OCC).

“You are a pioneer,” Charles said to Susi, referring to her courage in sinking almost 300 foreign vessels caught illegally fishing on Indonesian waters.

“They (the illegal vessels) deserve it,” he said.

Charles was one of the speakers in the conference, and had encouraged government officials, businesspeople, scientists and activists around the world to reduce the use of plastic bags that had contributed to the destruction of the ocean ecosystem.

The prince highlighted the problem of cheap and easy-to-produce plastic flooding the ocean and ending up in harming the environment.

Due to the prince’s active engagement in combating marine debris, Susi said she would invite him to attend the fifth OCC in Bali next year.

“I asked the prince directly whether he would attend next year’s OCC in Bali. He replied: I will, if I am still alive,” said Susi recalling the conversation with Charles.

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