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Gov't to grant Nahdlatul Ulama 'fairly large' coal mining concession, Bahlil says

Jakarta Globe - June 3, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – The government plans to grant a coal mining concession with sizable reserves to the executive board of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).

The government has decided to allow religious organizations to manage mines in Indonesia. The PBNU – as the central board is popularly known – becomes one of the religious organizations that will get the mining concessions, according to Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia.

"We will give a mining concession that holds fairly large coal reserves for PBNU to manage in order to optimize the organization," Bahlil recently said.

Having this permit is expected to allow the religious organization to enjoy the economic benefits from the coal mining activities. Bahlil added: "I will soon sign PBNU's permit. I am almost done [with the permit process]."

PBNU chairman Yahya Cholil Staquf, nicknamed Gus Yahya, said that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's decision to grant the concessions to religious organizations was a bold move as it could help better distribute the benefits of the mining activities.

"NU is ready [to manage the mines] with qualified human resources, comprehensive organizational officials, and a robust business network," Gus Yahya said.

Gus Yahya added that NU has reached the villages and the grassroots levels across Indonesia. Its organizational reach also includes the many community bodies across a variety of sectors.

"We will make use of [this network] as our channels to effectively deliver the benefits from the economic resources that the government has mandated to NU. We will prepare a structure of business structure and management to ensure professionalism and accountability, be it in its management or use," Gus Yahya said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/govt-to-grant-nahdlatul-ulama-fairly-large-coal-mining-concession-bahlil-say