TEMPO.CO, Surabaya – The Minister of Marine and Fisheries' wish for Indonesia to no longer import salt is welcomed by PT Garam (Persero). The state-owned enterprise is confident that Indonesia could produce its own salt, and said that importing industrial salt is making the country lose its sovereignty.
"The potential loss of state money from importing industrial salt is around Rp1.5 trillion," Usman Perdana, president director of PT Garam, told Tempo on Monday, November 24.
This year, the national demand for edible salt amounted to 1,728,219 tons, whereas the domestic need for industrial salt totaled at 2,128,875 tons. The 1,793,457-ton deficiency has been met through imports.
According to Usman, most of the domestic need for industrial salt could be met independently if PT Garam is given the authority to manage a land in Kupang Bay, East Nusa Tenggara. The 5,000 hectares of land could produce 600,000 tons of industrial salt per year.
PT Garam is targeting to produce 350,000 tons of salt this year, more than twice of last year's actual output of 167,000 tons. Last year's low output was due to prolonged dry wet season. As of November, the company has produced 315,000 tons of salt.
ARTIKA RACHMI FARMITA