Caesar Akbar, Jakarta – Indonesian Farmers Union (SPI) chairperson Henry Saragih on Monday responded to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's decision to revoke mining and forest-use permits in the form of right to cultivate (HGU) and land-use permits (HPH). He urged the government to treat the situation as a part of agrarian reform.
"Locations of the lands that have their permits revoked must be set as agrarian reform land objects and should be distributed to farmers and civilians who do not own any land, as opposed to the interests of corporations, plantations, and real estate developers," said Saragih on Monday, January 10.
He believed this step must be taken to handle agrarian imbalance and the control of natural wealth that continued to occur in Indonesia since the colonial era. Citing data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), land ownership discrepancy in 2013 reached 0.68, which means there are only one percent of Indonesians who are in control of 68 percent of land resources.
"SPI continues to urge the government to be consistent in accelerating the resolution of agrarian conflicts and redistributing nine million hectares of land which has not reached the target since the administration of President Joko Widodo in 2014," said Henry.
Previously, Jokowi announced that the government had revoked 2,078 permits for mineral and coal mining companies (minerba) for not submitting a work plan, as well as 192 forestry sector permits covering an area of 3,126,439 hectares which were revoked due to inactivity, not making a work plan, and abandoned.
In addition, the government revoked the HGU of abandoned plantations covering an area of 34,448 hectares. Of this area, as many as 25,128 hectares belong to 12 legal entities, the remaining 9,320 hectares are a part of the abandoned HGU belonging to 24 legal entities.