Tuesday, 07 August, 2012 | 13:54 WIB
President Yudhoyono Calls for Illegal Cattle Be Stopped
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked the Police and the Trade Ministry to handle illegal cattle at Tanjung Priok Port.
The president said the the illegal importation of cattle and beef should be stopped immediately, and that the Agriculture Ministry should conduct an investigation without delay.
"Not just the Agricultural Ministry, but also the Police, the Trade Ministry and everyone," the president said after a cabinet meeting at the Agriculture Ministry in Jakarta on Monday.
According to the president, the law on illegal importation must be enforced because the governmentís target is to reduce the volume of imports gradually. In 2010, of the total demand, 50 percent was met by imports.
The following year, imports were reduced to 30 percent. By 2014 the target is less than 20 percent. There is optimism that this can be achieved as long as domestic production increases. "So my opinion is clear, anything illegal must be eradicated," he said.
The president was responding to the illegal cattle case that occured a few days ago. The Directorate General of Customs and Excise detained 2,377 imported cows that were not in compliance with import documents. The documents stated the cattle were for breeding even though they were cattle ready for slaughter.
The cattle in question were imported from Australia by PT Tanjung Unggul Mandiri. They arrived on July 30 in MV Sahiwal Express ship.
The president also called for the business community not to make it a habit to import anything ilegally, saying it could cause problems for everyone. "People spend their time and energy on setting policies, regulations, budget, only for others to take illegal actions," he said.
The president also responded to questions about cartels in trade. He appealed to businesspeople to think of common interests. "Do business properly, itíll then be fair to all," he said.
Agriculture Minister Suswono also announced that he was ready to follow up on the directions by the president to investigate the illegal cattle cases. In the near future, his ministry will conduct investigations in cooperation with the police.
"The president has said that these are legal jurisdictions. The police will conduct the investigations. And there will be clear actions taken against anyone guilty of illegal practices," he said. ROSALINA