Indonesia may eliminate mineral export tax for smelter-building firms

JAKARTA Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:28am EST

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JAKARTA Feb 24 (Reuters) - Indonesia's government will consider eliminating a controversial tax on exports of mineral concentrates for companies that build a smelter in the Southeast Asian country, a senior government official said on Monday.

"The export tax can be changed. For those who have seriously committed to building smelters, we will ease it," said Sukhyar, director general of coal and minerals for the mines ministry.

"The export tax can be lowered or maybe eliminated to zero percent."

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono imposed the export tax last month as part of a package of new mining rules. Disputes and confusion over the new policies have halted $500 million worth of monthly mineral ore and concentrate exports. (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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