Covid Cases Still Rising, More Carbon Tax Delays, PeduliLindungi Trial for Cooking Oil Purchase, AmCham Digital Transformation Event With IBM
Jun 27, 2022
Covid-19 Cases Rising Again, Govt Considers Mandating Booster Before Traveling
The average of Covid-19 positivity rate for seven days (seven-day moving average/DMA) rose from 3.25 percent on June 24 to 3.40 percent on June 25. The number of Covid-19 patients treated in hospitals was 1,429, an increase from 1,387, with a bed occupancy rate (BOR) of 2.18 percent from 2.11 percent. Although cases are increasing, the recovery rate also rose from 998 to 1,074. There were 13,968 active cases.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the government would consider mandating booster vaccination as a prerequisite for travel if the number of cases keeps rising. He advised people to complete vaccinations and follow the government’s instructions and health protocols.
The government has once again postponed the implementation of the carbon tax due to inconducive global conditions and refinement of carbon market schemes. It was initially planned to be implemented in April 2022, was then changed to July, and has now been postponed again.
Head of the Fiscal Policy Agency of the Ministry of Finance Febrio Kacaribu said the carbon tax will happen this year, because the implementation of carbon taxes in developing countries will be showcased at the G20 Summit, and the carbon market will be crucial in achieving the National Determined Contributions (NDC) of the Paris Agreement. He also said the tax will first be imposed on coal-fired power plants with a cap and trade mechanism as mandated by the Tax Harmonization Law (UU HPP), along with a supporting mechanism implemented by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.
PeduliLindungi Needed for Bulk Cooking Oil Purchase
Use of the PeduliLindungi app as a requirement for the purchase of bulk cooking oil will be tried out and socialized today, June 27, under the People’s Bulk Cooking Oil (MGCR) program. Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said this was to improve the accountability of the MGCR program and ensure the distribution of bulk cooking oil from producers to consumers. After the socialization period, the public must use the PeduliLindungi application or show their ID card number (NIK) to purchase bulk cooking oil with the highest retail price (HET).
Economists have said the move is ineffective. Executive Director of the Institute for Development Economics and Finance Tauhid Ahmad said there are other looming problems the government must address, including public access to internet connection, especially for rural communities. Tauhid said data verification, validation, and the reporting process must be more effective and efficient.
Arsyajuliandi "Andi" Rachman, Riau Governor from 2016-2018, is one of the strongest supporters of Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI)’s training and development programs for Riau residents. One such program is the Vocational and Entrepreneurial Training (VOTE) which was launched in 2011, aimed at improving the entrepreneurial capacity of the community.
Another thing that left an impression on Andi was the infrastructure development helmed by CPI. In the past, Riau was filled with jungles, steep terrain, peatlands, humus soil, and swamps that hindered daily mobility. In the 1950s, CPI built many roads, popularly known as "oil roads," to help support the company’s operational activities, which were also used by the wider community.
According to Andi, CPI’s presence has had a great impact on all levels of Riau society, as well as the local and national economy. “CPI held the title as the largest oil producer in the country and was able to uphold it for decades of operations," he said. "Chevron’s contribution in the oil and gas sector, from state revenue as well as regional revenue, is undoubtedly massive.”
After operating in Riau for nearly 100 years and contributing significantly to the national oil and gas industry and local community development, CPI handed over all assets in the Rokan block to the Indonesian government in August 2021.
Innovative Collaborations to Push Digital Transformation
AmCham Indonesia, in collaboration with IBM Asia Pacific, hosted a breakfast forum “Government Digital Transformation in the Age of Hybrid and Artificial Intelligence” on June 21, at the Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta. The forum gathered around 50 people, mostly government officials, to discuss ways to enhance digital government transformation to deliver better services to the people.
A Lin Neumann, AmCham’s Managing Director, and Cin Cin Go, President Director and Technology Leader of IBM Indonesia, gave welcoming remarks to open the event. Dedy Permadi, Minister’s Special Advisor for Digital Policy and Human Resources Development and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, then outlined the Ministry’s four pillars for advancing digital transformation: digital infrastructure, digital government, digital economy, and digital society. He also emphasized the need for digital talent development to support the realization of Indonesia’s digital potential.
Vice President and General Manager of IBM Asia Pacific, Paul Burton, emphasized the importance of digital transformation as a fundamental competitive advantage. He said Indonesia is a digital transformation powerhouse, and this dynamic environment is where IBM can really add value, in both the commercial and government sectors. He said hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence are two transformative technologies going forward, and the government should be able to harness the technologies through collaboration and partnerships.
Christopher Fechner, Chief Executive Officer at Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) of the Australian government, speaking online, spoke about his government’s efforts in digital transformation, emphasizing that digital transformation relies on all channels, and with innovative partnerships, new ideas and models of digitization in government offices can become reality.
Closing remarks were made by AmCham Indonesia’s Vice Chair of the Board of Governors, Douglas Ramage. He said that as a representative of the American business community, AmCham is keen to support the government’s digital transformation efforts. He appreciated the government’s passing of the Omnibus Job Creation Law, as one of Indonesia’s most important reform agendas, and supports Indonesia’s G20 presidency this year.
B20 Pushes for Global Standardization of Business Sustainability Reports
A B20 Indonesia report supports the global standardization of business sustainability reports to strengthen sustainable governance in the private sector and ensure the continuity of investment, considering investors are increasingly looking for more sustainable businesses, B20 Indonesia Shinta Widjaja Kamdani said during a B20 Side Event webinar on June 22.
Shinta said the standards should be recognized by all G20 members and will be used to evaluate projects and business decisions. Currently, businesses around the world are required to adhere to multiple guidelines for sustainability disclosure which vary between regions and jurisdictions.
The AmCham Office is on the work-from-home status and all face-to-face meetings and events have been postponed. We are having a number of meetings online using the Zoom platform. You will be notified of virtual meetings as they are scheduled.
What is Your Company Doing on COVID-19?
Please let us know what measures your company may be taking in the form of donations and other assistance to help Indonesia during this time of confusion and concern. Contact [email protected] with your news. We would like to publicize the ways that our AmCham companies are pitching in.
Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.
AmCham Update is AmCham's regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor.