Indonesia Avoids Palm Tax Changes, Eyes India Rice Deal
Indonesia will not need to cut its palm oil export tax system, if it agrees a rice import deal with India, the state procurement agency Bulog and trade ministry in the Southeast Asia country said on Thursday.
After meeting Indonesian officials in New Delhi on Wednesday, India said it was willing to sell 500,000 tonnes of rice to Indonesia but wanted Jakarta to cut its export tax on crude palm oil which has threatened India’s domestic refining industry.
“We have not signed any contract on rice import with India so far,” Bulog CEO Sutarto Alimoeso said via phone from the Indian capital. “There is no such requirement proposed by the Indian side.”
“We can import rice from India without any requirement to lower our palm oil export tax.”
He added that the three rice import options for 250,000 tonnes to meet Indonesia’s short-term needs, were government to government, business to business and a grant.
“If the rice import is done on the B-to-B scheme like Indian government said so far, and they let Bulog negotiate with Indian rice exporters, they could not relate the rice import with our policy on palm oil,” added Deddy Saleh, director general of foreign trade at the Indonesian trade ministry.