As Government Draft Regulation (RPP) derived from Law No. 3 of 2020 has not yet been passed, national mining governance is still in the grey zone. To understand the direction and challenges of mining governance post-Law Number 3 of 2020 ratification, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia held a thematic discussion on February 3, 2021. At the forum, PWYP invited various stakeholders from different institutions and/or associations, namely Sony Heru Prasetyo, Head of Mineral and Coal Information Management Directorate General of Mineral and Coal of the Republic of Indonesia, Rizal Kasli, Chairman of the Indonesian Mining Experts Association (PERHAPI), and Prof. Dr. Busyra Azheri, SH., MH, Dean of Andalas University. The discussion was moderated by Anty from Gemawan.

At the beginning of the forum, Sony elaborated that Law Number 3 of 2020 would help to improve the national law framework, as the government focus is to increase the exploration stage for the mineral and coal industry sector to be more sustainable. The law is expected to improve governance to achieve national interests, increase legal certainty and ease of investment, as well pursuing better environmental management. Sony also explained that Law Number 3 of 2020 aims to create better reclamation management which could help criminal prosecution. Its implementation, however, is still difficult to conduct considering the transition period from decentralization to centralization is prone to risks such as the increase of illegal mining permits. Therefore, it is required for the government to strengthen its control.

The next speakers, Rizal and Dr. Busyra added their insights regarding the challenges from both the mining expert’s point of view and by examining the constitutional framework. In his presentation, Rizal stated that when it comes to mining management transition, precise timing and mechanism are necessary so that the legal documents and compliance status are fulfilled. Therefore, the mining inspector’s role is necessary for regulating supervision and evaluation in the field. In addition, it is important for mining inspectors and local contract workers knowledgeable in IT technology, such as using drones, real-time satellite imagery, and real-time reports to ensure if the process is going well.

Dr. Busyra added that Article 4 paragraph (2) of Law Number 3 of 2020 is attributive in the sense of centralizing the mineral and coal industry management, meaning that local government would have less authority. This will be a long-term problem as local governments who know more about the technicalities in their area but they will have less responsible due to their lack of involvement in the mining industry. Moreover, the investment restriction policy is not in line with the investment policy in the Investment Law because the investment restriction policy only benefits old investors. Therefore, it is advisable to harmonize the laws as soon as possible.

Sony stated that the government is also facing another problem whick lack of mining inspector. This problem has to considered due to large number of companies who are applying for license (IUP). To avoid an overwhelmed situation for the government’s side, this forum also emphasized the importance of developing information technology infrastructure to encourage transparency and accountability, especially in presenting data related to mining more accessible.

The existence of Law Number 3 of 2020 ratification is a dilemma, especially in local government that are given autonomy authority. For example, Askhalani from GERAK Aceh pointed that according to Government Regulations Number 3 of 2015, the Aceh province and its district have the authority to regulate and manage their own government in all public sectors, except for the affair of the central government authority. Law Number 3 of 2020 which has sense of centralized creates a different perspective on the policy in mineral and coal licensing. More over, Aceh Government considers that the new law and regulation should not be implemented.

Beside that, Maryati Abdullah, Senior Advisor of Publish What You Pay Indonesia, expressed her concern on the enactment of Law Number 3 of 2020. Maryati said that the government should learn from historical records of mining practices in other countries about centralized system in very comprehensive. Ttransparency and accountability must be implemented to realize good mining practices.

Written by,

Ersya Safhira Nailuvar
Communication Intern Publish What You Pay (PWYP Indonesia)