IPOP to adapt to Indonesian laws and regulations, not the converse, according to deputy minister

JAKARTA( - Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture at the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, Musdhalifah Machmud, has reminded all parties concerned with the implementation of Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP) to wait for the results of a detailed study on its content which is currently underway under the leadership of Indonesia's Minister of the Environment and Forestry.

"The content of IPOP as it relates to governmental issues and Indonesian laws and regulations will obviously be studied in detail. Meanwhile, when it comes to the business-to-business related content, this is up to the business groups that chose to sign IPOP, given that the government never told them to sign IPOP as it never constituted a government regulation that had to be complied with by Indonesian palm oil industry players," Musdhalifah told on Thursday (Mar 10) in Jakarta.

To emphasize her point, Musdhalifah pointed out that any business-to-business related obstacles that arise in terms of IPOP's implementation would need to be resolved by the IPOP signatories themselves.

"The government is simply not in a position to intervene in anything business-to-business related. The signatories to IPOP are companies, not the Indonesian government, right? However, with respect to government-related IPOP content, this will definitely be reviewed in detail. Once the detailed study of the IPOP content has been completed by the Environment and Forestry Minister, we'll take a look at the results," she added.

The Deputy Minister stressed that the reason difficulties were being faced in IPOPs implementation was that IPOP was not consistent with Indonesias laws and regulations.

"It's the content of IPOP that needs to be adapted to Indonesian laws and regulations, not Indonesian laws and regulations that need to be adapted to IPOP. Let's just wait for the results of the Environment and Forestry Ministry's in-depth study. These results are sure to shed light on which parts of the IPOP content are not in accordance with Indonesian laws and regulations," she explained.

As to whether the IPOP signatories should be open with the public regarding the difficulties they are facing at the implementation level, Musdhalifah reiterated that this was a matter for the IPOP signatories themselves, bearing in mind that IPOP does not fall into Indonesian laws and regulations.

"If the IPOP signatories arent able to implement IPOP, why force them? The government never said they had to make the pledge (IPOP)," the Deputy Minister asserted.

She went on to say that the duty of those in government was to facilitate palm oil industry players in operating effectively and in line with Indonesian laws and regulations.

"We would like to see the palm oil industry players engaged in robust business and expanding their operations. As the government, we cant and dont have the right to ask the IPOP signatories to do this or that, seeing that IPOP is merely a pledge, and pledges dont form part of Indonesian laws and regulations," Musdhalifah concluded.