Wednesday, 16 October 2019

NGOs Calls for Tougher Supervision on Mining Permit Issuance

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Anti Mining-Mafia coalition - which consists of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Auriga Foundation, SAINS and regional non-governmental organisation SAMPAN - has called on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to tighten their supervision on the legality of permits issued to companies in the minerals and coal sector, in order to prove the anti-graft institutions commitment to increase transparency and good-governance in Indonesia.

    "Only a small fraction is covered in the first stage of the KPK's Mining Supervision Process [Korsup Minerba]," said the Coalition's spokesperson, Pius Ginting. "KPK should show their commitment by increasing coordination and supervision of the mining sector, and increase its' involvement by monitoring of Contract of Work (KK) permits and Coal Contract of Work concessions (PKP2B) which account for more than 70 percent of national production."

    The statement was released after KPK announced on Monday, February 15, 2016, that over the past two years, 721 mining permits were revoked or not extended across 12 provinces after Korsup Minerba found irregularities and indications of corruption in almost 70 percent of the permits issued for coal and mineral mining companies by the government.

    To socialize their findings and synchronise KPK's efforts to reform the sector, governors from all across Indonesia were invited to the KPK on Monday - but out of the 32 Governors invited by KPK, only 12 attended the event, namely the governors of Riau, South Sumatera, Bangka-Belitung, Jambi, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, and North Maluku. They were also presented a scorecard on their performance, as compiled by the Anti Mining-Mafia Coalition.

    Central Sulawesi came out with the highest performance with 12 permits revoked and significant reduction of overlap of mining operations with conservation areas and an index score of 68. South Kalimantan came last with only one problematic permit revoked and an index score of 32.

    The coalition demands KPK to sanction companies that do not comply with existing regulations and called on  the anti-graft institution to increase their cooperation with other law-enforcement agencies in increase the efficiency of their efforts.

    "The number of permits revoked or not continued so far amounts to around only 20 percent of the total amount that had been recommended for termination. Many mining permits has no clean-and-clear (CNC) status, or problematic in one way or another. Some are operating in forest areas without permit to utilise and some are located in conservation areas," said Timer Manurung from the Anti-Mining Mafia coalition.

    "Furthermore, the government has no means to verify the validity of company’s production and tax reports. During the supervision period, the government's managed to reap some Rp10 trillion in profits from the minerals and coal sector in the 12 provinces. This is not enough - state losses are still high, and supervision of the mining sector still needs to be ramped up," Timer continued.

    The Coalition also demanded that the government pay more attention to the environmental and social impact of the sector - which the Coalition believes the government has almost completely left out of the equation, in discussions relating to the industry.

    "Many former mine pits are simply left abandoned, causing fatal accidents and environmental disaster. In East Kalimantan alone, at least 19 children have drowned in abandoned mine pits since 2011," said Pius.