Friday, June 14, 2024

Government offers coal mining concessions to six religious organizations

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Gusty da Costa

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The government has planned to grant mining permits for six religious organizations in Indonesia, namely Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah Muslim organizations, the Indonesian Catholic Bishop’s Conference (KWI), Protestant’s Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI), Buddhism and Hinduism organizations.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, said the policy is part of the government’s efforts to provide opportunities for non-profit religious organization to
secure financial resources for their religious activities, worships, health and education facilities.

“We, as part of the government, pay attention to organizations that foster and empower the community. So far they have done it with their own efforts. We give them the excess resources that we have.There are 6 religious organizations that will receives the mining permits,” Arifin said on June 7, 2024.

He cited that the coal mining concessions that will be granted for religious organizations are coal mining permits (PKP2B) belonging to PT Kaltim Prima Coal, PT Arutmin Indonesia, PT Kideco Jaya Agung, PT Indika Energy, PT Multi Harapan Utama, and PT Adaro Energy.

The government will grant the coal mining concession based on the size of the land and the size of organizations.

“The concession granted for religious organizations has a sufficient reserves with 4,000 kcal coal,” Arifin said.

Arifin expressed hope that in the next 2 or 3 years, the coal mining concessions granted for the religious organizations can start their production.

“But, first they have to do the exploration, make feasibility study, market study and determine the amount of coal that they want to produce and the equipment needed in the operation,” he said.

He believed that the religious organizations have the human resources to manage their coal mines in view of the abundant number of mining professionals who can be hired by the organizations.

The KWI and the PGI have said that they will not apply for mining permits as suggested. They responded to Government Regulation (PP) No. 25/2024, which provides opportunities for business entities owned by religious community organisations to manage coal mining activities during the 2024-2029 period.

Jakarta Archbishop Ignatius Cardinal Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo asserted that KWI will not apply for a permit of mining business.

“I don’t know about other organizations, but KWI will not use the opportunity because it is not our territory to look for mines and others,” Cardinal Suharyo said on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, as reported by IDN Times.

“The ministry is clear, KWI does not enter into (mining business) like that,” he added.

PGI Chairman, Gomar Gultom, similarly said that the Communion of Churches would not participate in mine management.

Gusty da Costa

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