Fri, 30 Nov 2001

Rini to take strong action against senior staff

Tantri Yuliandini, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Minister of Industry and Trade Rini Soewandi said on Thursday that she would take strong action over the breaching of the joint ministerial decree banning log exports that had taken effect on Oct. 8.

Her comments came following the issuance of a letter on Nov. 11 granting a reprieve to 11 exporting companies to export logs by the ministry's director general of international trade, Riyanto B. Yosokumoro.

"I have asked the inspectorate general to investigate the matter, and I have received its report. Just wait and see what I will do," Rini was quoted by Antara as saying. She did not say what action would be taken against Riyanto.

The ministerial decree was jointly issued by the minister of industry and trade and the minister of forestry to protect Indonesia's forests from rampant illegal logging activities. It gave exporters 23 days to dispose of their exports before the decree took effect.

However, 11 companies failed to export their products within the stipulated time, and had asked the director general for a reprieve citing bad weather and technical difficulties as reasons for their inability to export on time.

The 11 companies are PT Prabu Alaska Unit I, PT Inanta Timber, PT Bhara Induk, PT Keang Nam Development Indonesia, PT Melapi Timber, PT Teluk Bintuni Mina Agro Karya, PT Kedaung Madu Tropical Wood, PT Kaltim Bhakti Sejahtera, PT Bumi Simanggaris Indah, PT Karangjoang Hijau Lestari, and PT Papua Nabire Development.

The 11 companies were granted permission to export 72,147 cubic meters of logs worth US$21.6 million. From the total PT Prabu Alaska Unit I were allowed to export 20,000 cubic meters of logs, and PT Papua Nabire Development 15,000 cubic meters through Sorong Port in Irian Jaya.

According to Antara, the companies violating the ministerial decree would be charged with smuggling and fined a maximum of Rp 25 million (about $2,400) in accordance with the 1995 law on customs.