ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Government ignores Freeport’s threat to lay off workers
The government has ignored a threat from gold and copper mining company PT Freeport Indonesia, the country’s biggest taxpayer and major employer, to lay off its workers if an agreement with the government failed to be reached.
“If it is part of pressure, just ignore it,” said Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution, as reported by tribunnews.com on Wednesday.
Darmin said Freeport had demanded legal guarantees from the government that the current policy would not change if there were a change in the government.
Such certainty was demanded with regard to the amount of taxes the company paid and the continuity of its operations in Indonesia, Darmin said.
The taxes the company paid were, in fact, on a declining trend, but the company had doubts about whether such a policy would be maintained if there were a change in government, Darmin said.
Previously, Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said the company needed a stable investment agreement with the Indonesian government on the conversion of its contract of work (CoW) to a special mining license (IUPK).
Riza stressed that such an agreement was important for Freeport, because it was related to its long-term investment plan in Indonesia.
The government has barred the company from exporting its concentrate, saying the export licenses would be issued soon after the company signed an agreement that included a commitment to build a smelter and sell stakes to Indonesian entities.
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