The industrial salt will be distributed to the local factories in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, chor alkali plan (CAP), and chemical factories, as well as salted-fish makers, Nurwan remarked.
The salt, he stressed, is not allowed to be distributed to the consumer market, in accordance with the Trade Ministry`s Regulation No.125 Year 2015 on salt import.
However, other 17 companies in the food industry have reportedly requested for a similar permit to import some 663 thousand tons of industrial salt.
In accordance with the agreement with the Maritime Affairs Coordinating Ministry, the Trade Ministry will only allow the import of not less than 3.7 million tons of industrial salt this year.
The industrial salt contains 97 percent of Sodium chloride (NaCl), while the consumer salt comprises of only 94 percent Nacl.
In 2015, the government had allocated the import of only 2.07 million tons of salt, but the realization had only reached 1.92 million tons. Meanwhile, in 2016, the government had imported 2.01 million tons, while earlier, the ministry had allocated the import of 2.26 million tons of salt.
In 2017, the import allocation had reached 2.88 million tons, while the realization had only reached 2.43 million tons of salts, including 149,100 tons of consumer salt.
Economy Coordinating Minister Darmin Nasution earlier stated that Indonesian government decided to allocate the import of 3.7 million tons of salt, in accordance with the information released by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).
This year`s allocation, according to Nasution, has been agreed by the Maritime and Fishery Ministry, the Ministry of Industry, and the Central Statistics Agency.
However, the allocation of salt to be imported this year is claimed to have exceeded the recommendation offered by the Maritime and Fishery Ministry, which is 2.2 million tons.
Reported by Vicki Febrianto