House Approves Investment Bill
Tuesday, 27 March, 2007 | 14:58 WIB

Tempo Interactive, Jakarta: Despite being opposed by many groups, the House Commerce and Industry Commission approved the Investment Draft Bill to be passed into a Decree. According to several parliament members, the bill still contains many weaknesses.

A member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) faction, Hasto Kristianto, is of the opinion that the Investment Bill compromises each faction's request. For example, he said, regarding the debate on the government's obligation to sue investors who commit corporate crime, it was decided that the government only terminates the working contract with the investors.

“The event of Cepu Block being given to ExxonMobil instead of Pertamina will repeat itself. The government should have been able to put in charge,” said Hasto during the general debate yesterday (26/3). First he hoped that the Investment Bill will be a legal base in imposing sanctions to corporation crime perpetrators.

Democratic Pioneer Star faction member, M. Tonas, also gave a note to the land rights extension up to 95 years in advance. He objected because the long period will cause excess, such as control of land by a small party.

“So there is a possibility that the locals will suffer loss if they aren't involved in the investment,” he said.

On the other hand, the Deputy Chairman of the Investment Division at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chris Kanter, welcomed the Investment Bill that was agreed by the government and the House, including the points of tax cut facility; duty free for capital goods and land rights. “Most of the entrepreneurs' aspirations are fulfilled. However, many things must still be itemized in the executing regulation so that the practice is not confusing,” he told Tempo yesterday.

Economic observer Iman Sugema believes that the Investment Bill is full of the interests of the sponsors, the entrepreneurs and the World Bank. According to him, the Investment Bill should only regulate the building of good investment atmosphere.

“The bill should only arrange licensing improvement, not regulate tax incentives, land rights, or other matters,” he said.

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