Restoring Problematic IUPs, Evidence of Jokowi’s Government Serving Oligarchs

The decision of the Ministry of Investment/Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to restore the problematic mining business license (IUP) that had been revoked previously, further confirms that the effort to revoke 2,078 IUPs on 6 January 2022 was nothing more than a strategy of accelerating dredging for the benefit of mining oligarchs. Evidently, the revocation of the license was only an attempt to give pressure to mining businessmen to increase their investment and accelerate the dredging of mining commodities in their concessions.

Previously, President Jokowi earlier this year revoked thousands of large-scale land-based licenses in the mining, plantation and forestry sectors. Jokowi also claimed that the revocation of these permits is related to the government’s efforts to continue to improve natural resource governance so that there is an equality, transparency, and fairness to correct inequality of injustice and damage to nature. However, if examined further, the revocation of the IUP at that time was not based on and did not touch the companies holding IUP that committed environmental and humanitarian crimes, as well as opening up new exploitation spaces that had an impact on accelerating and expanding damage throughout the Indonesia archipelago.

This is proven by the statement of the Minister of Investment/Head of BKPM, Bahlil Lahadalia, at a press conference (26/9/22) which stated that currently there are 733 IUPs, which have previously been revoked, being followed up for the recovery process. Even Bahlil confirmed that there are already 83-90 licenses that have been restored in this first phase. Unfortunately, it is not clear what underlies this restoration of revoked permissions. In fact, the evaluation of the mining sector should not only be related to the fulfillment of investment administrative requirements, but also related to environmental evaluation and also violations of the rights of residents around the company’s operating site.

If indeed the government is serious and serious for the sake of environmental sustainability and the safety of citizens, the process of evaluating and revoking mining licenses should also target large companies, which are also related to people who are now in the circle of power or even become ministers in Jokowi’s Cabinet. Among them there are names of familiar people, such as PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) in East Kalimantan belongs to the Bakrie Group, which is connected to Abu Rizal Bakrie, Golkar’s top brass; PT Multi Harapan Utama (MHU) where Airlangga Hartarto, a Golkar official who is now the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, was once its commissioner; PT Adaro Indonesia belongs to the Thohir family whose shares have also been enjoyed by Sandiaga Uno; the mines of Toba Bara Group’s subsidiaries are PT Kutai Energi, PT Adimitra Baratama Nusantara, PT Trisensa Mineral Utama and PT Indomining. Toba Bara is a group of companies engaged in energy and mining known to be related to the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan. (Read More)

Not to mention mining licenses in coastal areas and small islands that clearly violate Article 35 Letter (k) in Law No. 1/2014 amending Law No. 7/2007 on The Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands (WP3K), which prohibits the use of coastal areas and small islands for mineral mining activities in areas that technically, ecologically, socially and/or culturally cause environmental damage, environmental pollution or harming the surrounding community. For instances, IUP of PT Gema Kreasi Perdana and 5 other nickel mining companies on Wawonii Island, Southeast Sulawesi; PT Tambang Mas Sangihe which covers more than half the area of Sangihe Island, North Sulawesi; even the state-owned PT ANTAM is also inseparable from this lawlessness for its operations on Gee Island, Pakal Island and Buli Bay in North Maluku.

The restoration of this problematic mining licenses does not stand alone. The portrait of new regulations that were born to serve the interests of oligarchs is also reflected starting from the birth of the revision of Law No. 3/2020 concerning Mineral and Coal which not only guarantees mining operations and longer control by corporations, but also provides incentives and ease of licensing; the birth of Law No. 11/2020 concerning Job Creation, which guarantees the availability of land for extractive projects labeled National Strategic Projects; Presidential Regulation No. 55/2019 on the Acceleration of the Electric Car Program, and Presidential Instruction No. 7/2022 on the Use of Electric Vehicles, these two regulations have encouraged the massive expansion of the nickel industry, not even a few political elites who make a profit from this battery electric vehicle business. Among them are Nadiem Makarim, Sandiaga Uno, Luhut Pandjaitan, Moeldoko, Bambang Soesatyo, and Ahmad Ali (Read More). Furthermore, Presidential Regulation No. 112/2022 concerning the Acceleration of Renewable Energy Development, which apparently still opens up opportunities and guarantees the construction of new coal-fired power plants, especially those related to the industry of increasing the added value of mining commodities and also coal-fired power plants related to National Strategic Projects.

In accordance with JATAM’s allegations when President Jokowi announced the revocation of the IUPs earlier this year, the revocation of thousands of mining licenses is part of efforts to consolidate investment and accelerate the dredging of mining commodities for the benefit of oligarchs, rather than on the basis of saving the environment, protecting citizens’ rights and evaluating the chaotic mining licensing process. Jokowi’s administration has successfully encouraged mining businessmen to pour their capital and accelerate damage to concession sites that are actually part of the living space of their own citizens. In natural resource management, the current Jokowi administration does not move away from the disposition of previous state officials, “Dredge Up, Sell Fast.”

Contact Person:

  • Muh. Jamil, Head of JATAM Learning node and Network (082156470477)
  • Ki Bagus, JATAM Campaigner (085781985822)