A research by the Centre for Study, Advocacy and Documentation of Indigenous Peoples (PUSAKA) has revealed multiple breaches by palm oil company PT Subur Karunia Raya in the Teluk Bintuni regency, Papua Barat Province. The company belongs to the Indo Gunta Group which has reportedly breached Law No 5/1999 on Eradication of Monopoly and other unhealthy business practices. Moreover, the company is running its operations without without free, prior informed consent (FPIC) of customary land rights holders and cleared forest in conservation areas. PUSAKA called upon the responsible government agencies to launch investigations into the alleged breaches.
Creation of palm oil monopoly
The Indo Gunta Group is accused of engaging in business practices which allegedly violate Articles 17, 26 and 27 of the of Law No 5/1999. PUSAKA found indications that the group is affiliated with the Salim/Indofood Group. The group is owned by Athoni Salim, one of the richest business men in Indonesia. Article 17 regulates the prohibition of business monopoly, while Article 26 prevents that a person may have more than one leading position in two different companies operating in the same field of business. Article 27 prohibits unhealthy forms of majority share ownership.
Pusaka found the irregularities in relation to various violations by PT Subur Karunia Raya in the Teluk Bintuni regency, one of many palm oil companies operating in West Papua under the Indo Gunta Group. The group owns at least six other palm oil companies in West Papua holding total concession area of 164,417 hectares in West Papua, alone (see table below). PUSAKA called upon the business competition supervisory commission (KPPU) to immediately launch investigations against the Indo Gunta Group regarding allegations on violation of the business monopoly law.
Table with palm oil companies under the Indo Gunta Group operating in West Papua
|No||Company name||Concession area||Regency|
|1||PT Bintuni Agri Prima Perkasa||19,369 hectares||Tambrauw|
|2||PT Menara Wsior||32,173 hectares||Teluk Wondama|
|3||PT Rimbun Sawit Papua||24,455 hectares||Fak-Fak|
|4||PT Tunas Agung Sejahtera||40,000 hectares||Mimika|
|5||PT Adijaya Mulia||8,000 hectares||Kaimana|
|6||PT Permata Nusa Mandiri||32,000 hectares||Jayapura|
FPIC violation and illegal logging
In 2018, PT Subur Karunia Raya allegedly cleared forest area of 399 hectares in a water catchment and 96 hectares of peat land forest in Teluk Bintuni through the logging company PT Agro Papua Inti Utama. Both areas were designated as conservation areas in the spatial planning in Teluk Bintuni. Local authorities have not responded to the alleged violations. Moreover, indigenous communities in the Moskon Selatan District complained that local authorities issued cultivation licenses (Hak Guna Usaha, HGU) to the company although PT Subur Karunia Raya had never consulted the customary land rights holders. Previously, representatives of the company and local authorities visited villages and promised to issue land certificates for all customary land rights holders. Local authorities issued the HGU for PT Subur Karunia Raya in 2021, but the promise to provide the land owners with land certificates was never realized. According to the local communities, the company did not carry out any consultation meetings to inform the affected communities about the project on their land.