Indonesia’s coal advantages include low sulfur content which is claimed to be the most environmentally friendly, and the ease of transportation routes with direct access from mines to rivers and offshore, so that prices can compete with Australia which relies heavily on the limitations of land infrastructure such as trains.
This ease becomes its own specter due to rampant smuggling. On the other hand, the transfer of government affairs from regencies/cities to the central and provincial levels based on Law 23/2014 on Regional Government raises gaps in the supervision of coal mining and trade activities.
Most of the supervisory duties in the field are organized by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. However, both the number of mining inspectors and investigators were far less than the number of mining business licenses which reached more than 10,000.
Various policies and budgeting tug-of-war between central and local levels need to be immediately broken down in order to establish state sovereignty over natural resources.