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Sugar import license questioned.

The trade ministry has issued sugar license to import 17,500 tons of white sugar when the country was in milling season. The import license was issued to CV Pusaka Khatulistiwa in Pontianak through a letter of the trade minister No. 1194/M-DAG/SD/7/2012 on 17 July 2012 on imports of white crystal sugar. The license was effective until 31 October 2012. However, the Indonesian Association of Sugar Farmers (APTRI) rejected the decision. APTRI said imports should be based on the decision of the trade minister No. 527/MPP/Kep/9/2004 on sugar import stipulation. Under the regulation, sugar may be imported only outside the period of within a month before and two months after milling season. In line with the decision No.527, imports of white sugar may be made by registered sugar importers, which meet certain requirements such as that the importer must have at least 75% of its sugar supply from local producers or farmers. Chairman of APTRI Soemitro Samadikoen said the issuance of the new license was against the regulation. The government bans imports of white crystal sugar in milling season. He said the price of sugar in West Kalimantan was more expensive because of the high distribution cost not because of scarcity of supply. The government should revitalize sugar factories instead of issuing import license. Soemitro said CV Pusaka is a new player having no experience and is not registered as a sugar importer. The trade authority, however, said the license is aimed at covering shortage in supply of white crystal sugar or consumption sugar in West Kalimantan. Domestic trade director general Gunaryo said the import license was granted on recommendation of the domestic affairs minister who said West Kalimantan badly needed sugar supply and the price of that commodity there had soared as a result. Earlier PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia on order from the trade ministry imported 182,000 tons of raw sugar in April to produce 167,000 tons of white crystal sugar to meet requirement outside Java and Lampung. A deputy chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Natsir Mansyur said the policy of the government in allowing the regions to import sugar they needed is right. He recommended that license is given to wider areas in the frontier areas which have been in difficulty to have sugar supply such as in the border areas between Aceh and Malaysia, Riau-Dumai, and other areas in Kalimantan. He said production of PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) has never been enough to meet requirement. It could only meet 60% of the country's total requirement.
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Publication:Indonesian Commercial Newsletter
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Aug 1, 2012
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