AmCham Update
AmCham Update Vol. 4 #121
Gov't Nets Rp 15.68T from E-Commerce VAT, Jokowi Inaugurates Largest Solar Farm in SEA, New Con Court Chief Justice, Indonesia's F1 Dream, SatuSehat App will Reward Exercise
Nov 10, 2023

Indonesia Secures Rp 15.68T in E-Commerce VAT

Indonesia registered Rp 15.68 trillion in value-added tax (VAT) from 161 e-commerce businesses as of Oct 31, according to the Ministry of Finance's Directorate General of Tax. The figure represents the cumulative results from 2020 to 2023, with the finance ministry having collected Rp 731.4 billion in 2020, Rp 3.90 trillion in 2021, Rp 5.51 trillion in 2022 and Rp 5.54 trillion as of October 2023.

The government also intends to add more VAT taxable e-commerce businesses, the tax directorate’s Director of Public Relations Dwi Astuti said. E-commerce businesses qualifying as VAT collectors are those with Indonesian customers with transactions exceeding Rp 600 million per year or Rp 50 million per month, and Indonesian user traffic of more than 12,000 per year or 1,000 per month.

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Jokowi Inaugurates Largest Solar Farm in SEA

President Joko Widodo inaugurated a $100 million, 200-hectare floating solar farm in Purwakarta Regency, West Java, on Nov 9. Floating on Cirata reservoir, the solar farm consists of 340,000 solar panels and project is expected to power 50,000 households. It is the largest such project in Southeast Asia and the third biggest in the world.

The project is a collaboration between the state electricity company PLN, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) and United Arab Emirates renewable energy company Masdar. Financiers also include Standard Chartered, Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and French-based Société Général.

The government is also set to conduct surveys of Indonesia’s thorium deposits for its planned construction of nuclear power plants, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif said. He added that public fears of nuclear energy development were unfounded and nuclear energy was crucial in Indonesia’s green energy transition. In addition to ongoing efforts of preparing laboratories and research, nuclear energy needs further socialization from President Widodo, National Energy Council Secretary General Djoko Siswanto said.

Renewable energy accounted for 12.3 percent of Indonesia's energy mix in 2022, but hitting the government target of 23 percent by 2025 is unlikely.

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AmCham Cares: YCAB Foundation

YCAB Foundation, in collaboration with Yayasan Pundi Amal Peduli Kasih (YPP) and RANS Entertainment, released donations for educational support to four schools affected by the November 2022 earthquake in Cianjur: SDN Cijedil, SDN Kawunggading, SDN Mitrabakti, and SDN Suryakancana, on Oct 19.

The donation included more than 550 desks and chairs, whiteboards, and bookshelves. The activity included confidence-building and child safety activities.

This collaboration is part of efforts to recover and restore schools affected by the earthquake, an initiative previously initiated by YCAB Foundation in partnership with VF Foundation and Global Giving since the beginning of 2023.

In early 2023, the partnership helped rebuild SD Sukamaju I Cugenang school in Cianjur.

SatuSehat App will Reward Exercise

The SatuSehat app, formerly known as PeduliLindungi, is to introduce a points and reward system next year.

Under the system, users can accumulate points through health activities such as walking 5,000 steps, with the goal of promoting healthier lifestyles. The system also encourages a shift from a treatment-focused approach to a preventive one. Points can be redeemed for free medicine, multivitamins and even to watch movies for free, the Ministry of Health’s Digital Transformation Office (DTO) Chief Setiaji said.

The system is expected to involve multi sectors including health services, banks, the private sector, and other potential collaborators in the development process. Other features in the works include medication reminders, psychiatric screening, and a vaccine certificate feature for children, Setiaji said.

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Suhartoyo to Replace Anwar Usman as Chief Justice

The Constitutional Court has appointed Suhartoyo as its new Chief Justice replacing Anwar Usman, following Usman’s decision to pave the way for his nephew (and son of President Joko Widodo), Gibran Rakabuming Raka, to run for vice president, which has been criticized by some for being unethical.

Usman was accused of a "serious ethics violation" by using his position to sway the Court's decision to allow Gibran to circumvent the 40-year minimum candidate age.

The decision was reached in a closed-door session attended by all nine constitutional justices with Suhartoyo and Saldi Isra nominated for the position, leading to the appointment of Suhartoyo as Chief Justice, said Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra. The new Chief Justice will take his oath at the Constitutional Court building on Nov 13.

This decision to demote Anwar Usman was welcomed by activists and legal experts, with some saying the sanction was not enough. Anwar should be dishonorably discharged, said Yance Arizona, a constitutional law lecturer at Gadjah Mada University (UGM).

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Indonesia Revving Up to Host Formula 1

Indonesia is bidding to host a Formula 1 motor racing Grand Prix in 2026, with the Indonesia Motorsports Association (IMI) designating two circuits -– in Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jakarta and Bintan Island, Riau Islands. An earlier target to host Formula 1 in 2025 was shelved due to delays in infrastructure development. The government is working on making international racing a reality in Indonesia, IMI Chairman Bambang Soesastyo said.

Meanwhile, Jakarta Propertindo (JakPro) was unable to confirm whether Formula E, which has previously held races in Indonesia, would continue its next iteration in 2024, as coordination with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) was still underway. He added the FIA had said the next Formula E event in Jakarta was likely to be canceled, citing concerns logistics could be affected by the 2024 Presidential Elections.

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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.

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