"The issue of alcoholic beverages is highly sensitive. Do not allow any presumption that through the presidential regulation, the government backs its people to consume liquor," Abdullah clarified.
Abdullah, director of the Research Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) Indonesia, here, Tuesday, suggested imposing excise taxes as one of the measures to be taken by the government.
Moreover, the government can ban the public from consuming liquor as part of enforcing its alcohol consumption control policy, he remarked.
This further policy must be supported by clear and effective law enforcement, so that the government's investment permit for the liquor industry is not off-target from that stipulated in the presidential regulation, he explained.
"Keeping people away from liquor consumption is another policy context," he affirmed, adding that the presidential regulation can help to boost the regional economy.
"The presidential regulation offers the investment permit for the liquor industry but not to all Indonesian provinces, and this is bottom-up based," Abdullah pointed out.
The investment permit could be issued if the governor, as the top regional leader, sent a proposal for that, he noted in a press statement made available to ANTARA.
President Joko Widodo signed Presidential Regulation No.10 of 2021 on Investment on February 2, 2021, opening up investment in the alcoholic beverages industry in the provinces of Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, North Sulawesi, and Papua.
Filep Wamafma, a member of the Regional Representatives' Council (DPD), who represents West Papua's electoral area, made an earnest request to President Widodo to revoke the investment permit.
"We appeal to Mr. President to revoke the government's investment permit for the alcoholic beverages industry in Papua," he noted in a press statement issued on Saturday.
Wamafma cautioned of a rise in the crime rate following liquor intake in the country's easternmost province.
The presidential regulation has been issued as a follow-up to the job creation law passed by the House of Representatives (DPR) last year.
"Referring to the presidential regulation, the liquor industry may obtain investment from both foreign and domestic investors," Wamafma remarked.
Investment in the liquor industry could also come from cooperative units and small and medium enterprises, he noted.
ANTARA has earlier reported on the gravity of the alcohol consumption problem in Papua despite a ban on the production, distribution, and sale of liquor in the province since 2016.
The consumption of alcoholic beverages is believed to have contributed to the shortened life expectancy of native Papuans. Related news: Papua plans to review govt's investment permit for liquor industry
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