Policy Impact Leads to Palm Cooking Oil Chaos

Policy Impact Leads to Palm Cooking Oil Chaos

Palmoilmagazine, JAKARTA – It started that President Joko Widodo was worried about unfinished palm cooking oil issue about the expensive price and difficult to buy in some regions, he decided a drastic decision by banning palm cooking oil export.

On Friday (22/4/2022) afternoon, after meeting some ministers, President Joko Widodo banned palm cooking oil export materials and palm cooking oil. It was effective on 28 April 2022.

"Telah saya putuskan pemerintah melarang ekspor bahan baku minyak goreng dan minyak goreng, mulai Thursday 28 April 2022 sampai batas waktu yang akan ditentukan kemudian," he said as quoted from the Youtube of President Secretariat.

Two days later, Sunday (24/4/2022), Coordinator Minister in Economy, Airlangga Hartarto announced the detail of palm cooking oil materials but it was postponed.

Airlangga announced it on Tuesday (26/4/2022) afternoon. In the press conference, he mentioned that the government officially banned Refined bleached, and deodorized or RBD palm Olein to export which were the materials to produce palm cooking oil. It was effective on 28 April 2022 at 00.00 WIB.

In fact, one day after the regulation ran, it was substituted again. Airlangga Hartarto announced, the government finally ban every product of palm oil to exports both CPO, RPO, RDB Palm Olein, Pome, and Used Cooking Oil.

The announcement replaced the previous which banned few products only, such as, Refined bleached, deodorized or RBD palm Olein as the materials to produce palm cooking oil.

Economists and Director of Center of Economic and Law Studies (Celios), Bhima Yudhistira thought, what the government did to substitute one regulation to another was the loss for many, such as, the stakeholders.

The substitution of regulation (banning materials of palm cooking oil to every derivative product in palm cooking oil production) was because there was legal certainty to the stakeholders themselves.

“This is a loss for the stakeholders. What they asked for is the legal certainty. If every regulation can be substituted in a matter of second, the investors would not invest in plantation sector in Indonesia,” he said.

The stakeholders got panic and frustrated when the Attorney decided that General Director of Foreign Trade Ministry of Trade and other three stakeholders as the suspects in corruption allegation to CPO and derivative product export facility to four companies which might not fulfill the conditions in DMO (domestic market obligation) for about 20%.

The three stakeholders are Senior Manager Corporate Affair Permata Hijau Group Stanley MA; Commissioner of PT Wilmar Nabati Indonesia Master Parulian Tumanggor; and General Manager PT Musim, Mas Pierre Togar Sitanggang (PTS). After that, Lin Che Wei a.k.a. Weibinanto Halimdjati as analyst or policy advisor at Independent Research & Advisory Indonesia was the new suspect in the same case on Tuesday (17/5/2022). The status of Lin Che Wei as the suspect happened after the investigators in the Attorney investigated him more than once as a witness.

Legal practitioner, Hotman Sitorus knew, something weird took place by deciding the stakeholders as the suspects. Let us say, the vague formulation to be against the law, the loss of economy for the country and the element to enrich oneself or another.

Sitorus thought, the loss of the country which was calculated from what the government burdened in the form of Bantuan Langsung Tunai (BLT) Tambahan Khusus Minyak Goreng for 20,5 million poor families because of the rare and expensive palm cooking oil.

“This is new one and quite confusing. The subsidy delivered by the government became the loss for the country,” Sitorus said to journalists in Jakarta, Monday (21/8/2022).

The suspect – PTS was alleged to be against the law in dealing with CPO and its derivative product export approval that reached 41 permits from 7 subsidiaries of Grup Musim Mas, they were PT Musim Mas, PT Musim Mas-Fuji, PT Intibenua Perkasatama, PT. Agro Makmur Raya, PT Megasurya Mas, PT Wira Inno Mas. PTS was considered to enrich the companies for about Rp 626,6 billion.

PTS was claimed to deliver loss for the country for about Rp 1.107.900.841.612,08 and the economy of the country for about Rp 3.156.407.585.578,00,-

"PTS was charged that he manipulated the documents to get export approval. Besides, he broke the regulation in domestic market obligation (DMO) and domestic price obligation (DMO)," Sitorus said.

He continued, to get export approval of CPO from Ministry of Trade would be having close conditions. At least, there are three conditions to fulfill.

“It means, the decision of the Attorney to PTS as the suspect would have not enough evidences. He denied that the stakeholders tried to approach other officers in this case, Ministry of Trade, to get export approval,” Sitorus said. (T2)


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