Bali enacts plastics ban, targeting 70 percent reduced use in 2019
Bali has taken a big step to curb pollution in its seas, enacting a ban on troublesome single-use plastics like shopping bags, styrofoam and straws.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster announced the ban on Monday, as stipulated in Gubernatorial Regulation (Pergub) No. 97/2018, expressing hope that the policy would lead to a 70 percent decline in Bali’s marine plastics within a year.
The new policy carries a six-month grace period dating from Dec. 21, when it was signed and took effect.
Jakarta plans to follow Bali’s example by drafting a similar gubernatorial regulation that bans single-use plastic bags.
Jakarta Environmental Agency head Isnawa Adji said that Jakartans had already agreed to reduce plastic waste. According to a survey by the Indonesia Plastic Bags Diet Movement, more than 90 percent of Jakarta’s residents agreed to reduce their use of plastics.
Isnawa said that one effort to reduce single-use plastics was to limit drinking straws at restaurants, with other establishments to follow suit.
He said the agency would ask for input from stakeholders and residents in the months prior to enacting the ban.
(read more: The Jakarta Post)
photo: John Cameron / unsplas
Indonesia plans to make 30 percent biodiesel blend mandatory, studies B100
While the government expanded the mandatory use of a 20 percent biodiesel blend ( B20 ) in September, it plans to further boost domestic biodiesel consumption to absorb more crude palm oil (CPO) amid fluctuation in the global market price of the commodity.
Apart from improving the distribution of the B20 blend across to the country, the government is also carrying out research to increase the portion of biodiesel in the fuels rom 20 percent to 30 percent ( B30 ) or even to 100 percent ( B100 ).
State-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina supply chain operations manager Gema Iriandus Pahalawan further explained that three more biodiesel refineries would be developed, likely in Plaju in South Sumatra, Dumai in Riau and Balikpapan in East Kalimantan, to produce more biodiesel.
Gema said the production of B30 biodiesel was expected to be implemented, while the government was still improving the B20 distribution, which had reached 97 percent in November and was planned to be completed in December.
‘Bizarre’ zebra crossing in GBK forces pedestrians to jaywalk
A video poking fun at a “bizarre” zebra crossing near Gate 10 of the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports complex, Central Jakarta, went viral recently.
The video shows a woman in sportswear crossing the road, but she has to stop halfway because a road divider with plants around 40 centimeters tall cuts through the middle of the zebra crossing.
The woman then pretends to prepare to jump over the divider, while the man behind the camera says jokingly, “The design [of the zebra crossing] requires pedestrians to be good at sports as they have to jump to cross the road.” Both of them eventually walk around the divider before using the zebra crossing again.
The video was uploaded on Gusti Fauzi M Gafli’s Facebook account on Dec. 10.
The caption of the video says, “Anyone that can help, please inform whoever [is] responsible for GBK. Please help make our GBK a world-class sports facility.”
Read more: The Jakarta Post
Heavy rain, strong winds predicted to hit Jakarta
After heavy rain drenched Jakarta on Monday afternoon, several areas suffered from flooding, including in Rawa Terate, Cakung subdistrict, East Jakarta.
The Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), via its official Twitter account @BPBDJakarta, reported at 4:47 p.m. that there was 1-meter-deep flooding in the area.
The agency recorded that the heavy rain had left at least seven areas across East, West and South Jakarta with around 10 to 20 centimeters of inundation as of 5:27 p.m.
“We call on people planning to use the [inundated] roads to be careful and choose alternative roads instead,” @BPDBJakarta tweeted.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) warned on Monday that heavy rain with strong winds and lightning could potentially occur in the next few days in Greater Jakarta.
BMKG spokesman Hary Djatmiko said the agency had predicted that such weather conditions would continue in the capital until Friday, as the rainy season had just begun in late November.
The agency predicts that the rainy season across the country will last until March next year.
He also said the agency had predicted that the peak of the rainy season nationwide would occur from December until February. Meanwhile, the peak of the rainy season in Greater Jakarta was likely be in January and February, he said.
“If we look at the pattern, [the peak of the rainy season in Greater Jakarta] will be from mid January until mid February,” he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
Hary explained that the agency regularly communicated weather prediction updates to regional
“Updates will be every 10 days or monthly,” he said, adding that the weather updates from the agency would hopefully help each regional administration to mitigate the risk of flooding or landslides.
With flooding having already occurred in a number of areas across the capital, Jakarta is bracing for the impacts of the rainy season.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan recently said there were 30 flood-prone areas spread across five administrations, four of which are in Central Jakarta, 13 in South Jakarta, four in East Jakarta, six in West Jakarta and three in North Jakarta.
Read more: The Jakarta Post
54 sectors now fully open to foreign capital, The Indonesian govt relaxes regulations to attract investors
The Indonesian government is going on a streak to weather down external shocks affecting the country’s economic performance.
After Bank Indonesia raised its seven-day repo rate by another 25 basis points to six percent on Thursday, the government announced on Friday that it had launched the 16th economic package aimed at relaxing regulations pertaining to investment.
The package comprises three main points, namely the expansion of the tax holiday, the adjustment to the negative investment list (DNI) and the provision of tax incentives for the mandatory saving of export earnings in Indonesian bank accounts.
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution argued that the economic package should not be seen as “pro-foreigner” and should instead be perceived as a means to enhance productivity.
The government noted Rp 14.4 trillion (US$985.23 million) worth of foreign capital entering Indonesia through government debt papers between January and November.
Darmin said it was a sign of confidence from foreign investors toward Indonesia despite the external situation going against the country, such as monetary tightening in the United States, which prompted investors to pull their money out of emerging markets and move it to the US.
Below are the economic stimulus measures:
New tax holiday
The new tax holiday in the 16th economic package expands the categories, duration and amount it applies to. A revision to Finance Ministerial Regulation (PMK) No. 35/2018 on the tax holiday will be issued, along with a new PMK to regulate a special tax holiday for smaller investments in special economic zones (SEZs).
The ministry’s undersecretary for macroeconomics and finance, Iskandar Simorangkir, said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had instructed his office and the Finance Ministry to issue the two regulations by next week.
Eighteen sectors were offered various tax holiday incentives, with the new sectors being the processing industry based on agriculture, plantations or forestry and the digital economy.
With the new regulation, investments worth between Rp 100 billion and Rp 500 billion can now benefit from a 50 percent income tax reduction for five years.
Investments worth between Rp 20 billion and Rp 100 billion in SEZs are also eligible for the same incentive, whereas investments over Rp 100 billion in SEZs can be fully exempted from income tax for between five and 20 years.
54 sectors now fully open to foreign capital
The new economic package revises the DNI by excluding 87 business sectors, thereby allowing them to benefit from partial or full investment from foreign investors.
Out of the 87 sectors, 54 are now fully open to foreign capital, such as offshore oil and gas drilling, clove and white cigarette production, certain categories of medical equipment production, dairy farming and fabric printing.
investment in the past few years, with the latest Coordinating Investment Board (BKPM) data showing a 1.4 percent quarterly decline of investment growth in the third quarter, following a 4.9 percent decline in the second quarter.
With the decline, the BKPM has revised down this year’s investment target to Rp 730 trillion from Rp 765 trillion.
The ministry’s special staffer, Edy Putra Irawady, reassured that the revision of the DNI would not suppress opportunities for domestic investors, particularly those from small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
He also emphasized that the removal of the sectors from the DNI was based on the discretion of each ministry responsible for them, hence it would be up to each ministry to explain the benefits of allowing foreign investment in the sectors.
Similar to the new tax holiday, Jokowi mandated the administration to issue a new regulation pertaining to the DNI adjustment approximately a week after the economic package was launched.
Incentives for export earnings (DHE)
The third incentive prepared in the 16th economic package is to provide final income tax cuts for exporters who deposit their earnings (DHE) in designated bank accounts in order to provide liquidity to the domestic financial system.
The regulation stipulates that export earnings from mining, plantation, forestry and fishery sectors be deposited with domestic lenders who are authorized to conduct foreign exchange transactions or in branches of foreign lenders in Indonesia.
The ministry’s special staffer on economic and political relations, law and security, Elen Setiadi, said a zero percent final income tax cut would be provided to exporters who deposit at least 90 percent of their earnings for more than six months, both in the form of US dollars or rupiah.
Various tax rates will also be applied to earnings deposited for less than six months, such as a 7.5 percent final income tax for US dollars and 5 percent final income tax for rupiah earnings deposited for three months.
The designated accounts will also be able to serve as the exporters’ escrow account, meaning that they will be able to withdraw money from their accounts to pay routine bills or dividends and keep the rest of the funds under Bank Indonesia’s supervision.
The incentives and sanctions will be regulated through a PMK and BI regulation, which will be established 30 days at the latest after the economic package was launched, and will be implemented by Jan. 1 next year.
This article has published at The Jakarta Post.com titled “Indonesia’s latest economic stimulus package: What you need to know”
Boeing is said close to issuing 737 Max warning after crash
Boeing Co. is preparing to send a safety warning to operators of its new 737 Max jets in response to the investigation of last week’s fatal crash off the coast of Indonesia that left 189 dead, said a person familiar with the matter.
The bulletin from Boeing will alert airlines that erroneous readings from a flight-monitoring system can cause the planes to abruptly dive, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing details of the manufacturer’s plans. Boeing will warn pilots to follow an existing procedure to handle the problem, the person said.
The Lion Air 737 Max 8 dove into the Java Sea on Oct. 29 minutes after takeoff, nosing downward so suddenly that it may have hit speeds of 600 miles an hour before slamming into the water. The pilots radioed a request to return to Jakarta to land, but never turned back toward the airport, according to Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee and flight-track data. The committee said they were dealing with an erroneous airspeed indication.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan revokes reclamation project permits
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has voided principle permits to stop work on 13 man-made islands in the controversial Jakarta Bay land reclamation project.
Anies said that the decision on Wednesday was made after hearing a recommendation from the Northern Coast Management Coordinating Agency (BKP-Pantura).
“Based on the recommendation, we can assure you that we will stop the development of the 13 reclaimed islands,” Anies told reporters at City Hall, as reported on the administration’s website.
The governor was referring to islets A, B and E, which are being developed by PT Kapuk Naga Indah; islets I, J and K, developed by PT. Pembangunan Jaya Ancol; islet M, developed by PT. Manggal Krida Yudha; islets O and F, developed by PT Jakarta Propertindo; islets P and Q, developed by KEK Marunda Jakarta; islet H, developed by PT Taman Harapan Indah; and islet I, developed by PT Jaladri Kartika Pakci.
Anies added that the existing islets would be used for the benefit of the public, without specifying what that meant.
Anies claimed the developers, which have already obtained principle permits, had failed to follow the correct procedures, including with regard to submitting the design and Environmental Impact Analysis (Amdal) reports.
Source: The Jakarta Post
Online ads in Singapore offering Indonesian maids for sale
Online ads in Singapore offering Indonesian maids for sale were Wednesday condemned as “unjust and demeaning”, in a rare flare-up of tensions between the neighbours over domestic helpers.
Singapore is home to almost 250,000 maids, mostly from poor parts of Indonesia or the Philippines, who head to the wealthy city-state to earn higher salaries than they can back home.
While Indonesia regularly protests about abuse and exploitation of helpers in Malaysia and parts of the Middle East, complaints about treatment of maids in tightly-regulated Singapore are less common.
However reports that Indonesian helpers were being offered for sale in the city-state on online marketplace Carousell quickly drew condemnation from rights groups.
The adverts under the user name “maid.recruitment” reportedly offered the services of several helpers from Indonesia, while some ads indicated maids had been “sold”.
(read more: The Jakarta Post)
Started in 2010, Path to stop operation in October
Social networking and photo-sharing app Path is set to terminate its service on Oct. 18.
Following rumors that spread over the weekend, the team officially announced the plan on Monday, sharing the shutdown schedule on its website.
“It is with deep regret that we announce that we will stop providing our beloved service, Path. We started Path in 2010 as a small team of passionate and experienced designers and engineers. Over the years we have tried to lay out our mission: through technology and design we aim to be a source of happiness, meaning and connection to our users,” it stated.
The team shared that starting Oct. 1, people would no longer be able to download or update the app from iTunes and Google Play.
Then, on Oct. 18, it would start to terminate the service. Finally, on Nov. 15, Path-related customer service will be officially closed.
(read more: The Jakarta Post)