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Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fishery, Susi Pudjiastuti., Jakarta – Indonesia has sunk 556 illegal boats from October 2014 until present, including 21 foreign boats that the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s Illegal Fishing Task Force (Satgas 115) destroyed in West Kalimantan’s waters between Oct 4 and Oct 6, 2019.

Minister Susi Pudjiastuti revealed in a statement that ANTARA received here on Monday (7/10/2019) that 26 of the 556 illegal boats were Indonesian-flagged ones, while 321 Vietnamese, 91 Filipino, 87 Malaysian, 24 from Thailand, two of Papua New Guinea, three from China, and one each from Nigeria and Belize.

The foreign ships were sunk in line with the Law of Fishery and the judge’s verdict on the crime committed by the boat operators, Pudjiastuti, who chaired the task force, stated.

The minister revealed that of the 21 foreign ships, 18 were sunk in the waters near Pontianak City, West Kalimantan Province, on Oct 6, while the three others were sunk on Oct 4 in Sambas, the province’s westernmost district that shares its border with Malaysia.

Of the 21 foreign boats that were sunk, 16 were Vietnamese, while the two others were Malaysian.

Apart from these boats, the ministry had also planned to sink 19 other foreign boats in Belawan, Batam, and Natuna on Monday.

Since the minister assumed office in 2014, Pudjiastuti’s top program has entailed the sinking of foreign and local ships to clamp down on illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing in Indonesia’s waters.

In spite of some high-ranking officials averring the minister’s program as being ineffective, Pudjiastuti expounded that sinking the ships would deter the perpetrators. In mid-2019, Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan had informed the press of his plan to review Pudjiastuti’s measure to sink illegal fishing boats. (mrr)





Minister of Industry, Airlangga Hartarto., Jakarta – The Industry Ministry, Airlangga Hartarto, plans to scrap 18 regulations as part of efforts in preparation for the continuing US-China trade war which is predicted to lead to a global crisis.

“Eighteen regulations are under the final process, with 12 of them being scrapped and six others being simplified. The process has been accelerated so they can be implemented before the inauguration of the new cabinet,” Hartarto said in a statement released on Wednesday (16/10/2019).

The 18 regulations mostly deal with the procurement of raw materials for industry, particularly the metal industry.

The metal industry is one of the main sectors because other industries need its products. In addition, the metal industry is also important because its derivative products are export-oriented, he said.

“Metal is a raw material for many industries. In fact, the metal industry has asked for protection,” he said.

The products of the metal industry will be protected by issuing the industry minister’s regulation. The regulations related to raw materials will be eased for domestic and export markets.

The decision to scrap some regulations in the industrial sector was based on inputs from business agents and upon instructions from President Joko Widodo.

The facility is expected to attract more foreign and local investors to realize their investment plans and business expansion so that they can deepen the structure and improve the competitive edge of the domestic industry. (ran)

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Transportation Minister, Budi Karya Sumadi., Jakarta – Wamena Airport in Papua is expected to return to its normal operation next week, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said here on Sunday (13/10/2019).

“Within less than a week, it (Wamena Airport) will return to normal. I think it’s safe now. I have received information from the (Papua) Police Chief and the Military Chief that the situation is conducive and (the airport) can return to normalcy,” Sumadi said after a meeting with regional heads of West Papua to discuss connectivity in the easternmost region of the country.

The minister would continue discussion with Papua’s regional leaders on late Sunday (13/10/2019).

Wamena Airport was temporarily shut down following the bloody riots in Wamena on September 23, to prevent the facility from any disturbance that might harmful to flight operation.

On average, 120 flights go through the airport, located in the popular Baliem Valley, every day.

Sumadi said, the ministry has conducted evaluation on the condition of the airport.

According to the minister, some regular flights have resumed operation. “Some have resumed operation but it is yet effective.” (aij)

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Agriculture Minister, Andi Amran Sulaiman., Blitar – Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman is sanguine that Indonesia will attain self-sufficiency in sugar production following the completion of construction of 10 new sugar mills.

“Alhamdulillah (thank God), we can achieve (the target of) building 10 sugar mills. Currently, we can produce 2.5 million tons of white sugar and still import 300-500 thousand tons (to meet the needs). We have set ourselves the target of producing another one million tons. If the target can be achieved optimally, we will soon achieve self-reliance in white sugar production,” he stated in Blitar, East Java, on Wednesday (9/10/2019).

He revealed that the Agriculture Ministry will make continued efforts to encourage the construction of new sugar mills, especially in the next five years, to meet the industrial demand for sugar.

“To meet the demand for refined sugar, we must build 10 to 15 new sugar mills in five years’ time. If they can be built, Indonesia will be able to achieve self-reliance in the production of both white and refined sugar,” he stated.

He admitted to several obstacles hindering development of the national sugar industry. Some parties have expressed uncertainty over the production capability of the sugarcane plantation and new sugar mills.

“In spite of the many obstacles, we must remain optimistic. For instance, somebody has criticized that the land in Bombana is not suitable, but it turns out that the land can produce 140 tons,” he noted.

The ministry is also focusing on sugarcane development on plots of suboptimal land, including barren land in Bombana District, Southeast Sulawesi, and on plots of swampy land in Ogan Komering Ilir District, South Sumatra.

“We must optimally utilize the barren land that is usually difficult to cultivate. We plant sugarcane on the land. It all is possible, as we use new technology, such as drip irrigation. By applying the new technology, the production increases two folds,” he explained.

He believed that the presence of the Rejoso Manis Indo sugar mill in Blitar District, East Java, can boost the economy of the local people. (acs)

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