"Illegal practices and CPO smuggling often occur in the region, such as in Riau Province. We are preparing a regulation to put an end to illegal CPO practices. This is to protect the distribution of CPO," Firman Sabagyo, deputy chairman of Commission IV on agriculture of the DPR, said here on Monday.
According to Firman, the illegal practice of CPO smuggling disadvantages the state and the related companies. The regulation is being initiated in response to several public complaints lodged with the DPR.
"The House will also discuss this with the National Palm Oil Council," Firman stated.
The new ruling will deal with granting land for cultivation, plantation, harvest, distribution, and downstream development. It will give priority to the state, companies, and the people to boost economic development.
Hence, the legislator has encouraged CPO companies and associations to report illegal practices to the authorities if they have adequate evidence on the leakage and smuggling of CPO.
"Companies that are disadvantaged by the practices should also report it. It should not happen that there are individuals in the companies who are also involved," the lawmaker stressed.
He also urged the authorities to not turn a blind eye to the rampant increase in illegal practices. In order to handle the case, the National Police and the Customs and Excise Office should not wait for reports from the public.
The handling of CPO cases by law enforcement agencies is still weak, according to Firman.
Riau Province is one of the major CPO producers in Indonesia. It exports CPO to India, China, Malaysia, and Singapore, among others.
Economic observer Joko of the Sultan Syarif Kasim II Islamic University had earlier forecast that some 25 percent of Riau Provinces annual CPO production is smuggled out after being leaked to certain parties.(*)