The Trade Ministry has issued permits to 25 companies to import industrial salt, after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently reverted the authority to issue recommendations on salt imports to the Industry Ministry from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry. International trade director general Oke Nurwan of the Trade Ministry received a recommendation from the Industry Ministry on industrial salt imports, upon which the Trade Minister had issued the import permits. The permits from the Trade Ministry cover 2.27 million tons of the government's 3.7-million-ton quota on imported industrial salt.
“The remaining quota is 1.33 million tons. Of that figure, we just issued permits to import 676,000 tons of salt for industry needs,” Oke said on Monday as reported by kontan.co.id . The transfer of authority from the fisheries to the Industry ministry is stipulated in Government Regulation No. 9/2018 on the procedure for controlling fish and industrial salt imports as raw material. The regulation was issued, following protests from industry players on the difficulty they faced in obtaining an import recommendation from the fisheries Ministry. Meanwhile, Association of Indonesian Fishermen secretary-general Budi Laksana protested the government’s decision to allow for the salt import, saying that the move violated Law No. 7/2016 on the protection and empowerment of fishermen, aquaculture farmers and salt farmers. (The Jakarta Post, March 2018)