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Mining permit for religious groups contradicts Minerba Law, Muhammadiyah says

Tempo - June 5, 2024

Han Revanda Putra, Jakarta – Muhammadiyah, one of the country's largest Muslim organizations, responded to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's decision to grant coal mining concessions to religious organizations.

The President signed the revision of Government Regulation (PP) No. 96/2021 to PP No. 25/2024, which brought significant changes to the process of granting mining permits. The regulation notes that the issuance of special mining license areas (WIUPK) can be prioritized for business entities owned by mass and religious organizations without going through an auction process as required by the previous law.

Muhammadiyah assessed the granting of Mining Business Permits (IUP) to mass organizations without an auction process contradicts Law No. 3 of 2020 on the amendments to the Law on Mineral and Coal Mining (UU Minerba).

"The auction is conducted to ensure that the license is granted fairly," said Trisno Raharjo, chairman of Muhammadiyah's Legal and Human Rights Council, in a legal opinion received by Tempo on Wednesday, June 5.

Meanwhile, under Presidential Regulation No. 70 of 2023, the Task Force represented by the Investment Minister holds the authority to offer and grant the IUP to business actors, village-owned enterprises (BUM Desa), regionally-owned enterprises (BUMD), business entities owned by mass organizations, cooperatives, and business entities owned by small and medium enterprises (UKM).

"This method of giving away [the license] cannot be justified," Trisno added.

Trisno believed that granting an IUP without an auction is likely to lead to subjectivity, possible fraud, and transactional elements or other motives beyond technical aspects and capabilities in the management of mining business activities.

Moreover, Trisno denounced it as an abuse of authority. In the event of state losses due to the permit, he deemed it a criminal act of corruption as stipulated by Law No. 20 of 2001.

The People's Mining Permit (IPR) and Rock Mining Permit (SIPB), he went on, could be given to business entities, cooperatives, or individual companies through a proposal to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, with this authority being delegated to provincial regional governments by Presidential Regulation No. 55 of 2022.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1876227/mining-permit-for-religious-groups-contradicts-minerba-law-muhammadiyah-say