Jayapura, 10/2 (Jubi) – Up to 15,000 workers at Freeport are threatened with layoff as a result of a sharp increase in export tax, Papua House speaker Deerd Tabuni said.
The government began implementing the 2009 mining law in January. Under the law, the tax for copper concentrate exports has been raised to 25 percent from 20 percent, and will gradually go up to a maximum 60 percent by the end of 2016.
Freeport said the new regulation will result in a reduction of 40 per cent of production, making layoffs inevitable.
“Currently Freeport employs 31,000 people and about 15,000 of them are threatened with,” said chairman of the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRD) Tabuni on Monday (2/10).
He said that DPR Papua has urged the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) to review and revise the law.
“Last Friday, I went to Freeport and found that two concentrate processing or raw mineral machines no longer operating. Trucks did not operate , even employees have stop working,”he said.
He added “This regulation does not benefit us. It will increase the number of people unemployed and decrease the revenue of Timika regency as well as Province of Papua, “he said.
Now, DPR Papua is collecting data to back up its proposal for a revision in the Mining Law, which is affecting so many people’s lives.
“Moreover, the public and employees from Sabang to Merauke are worried. We hope the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will revise the regulation especially regarding the export tax,” Tabuni said. (Jubi / Arjuna/ Tina)