KOTABARU, S Kalimantan: The participating interest (PI) or the right of participation of the oil and gas exploitation of the Sebuku Block in the waters of Larilarian Island, Kotabaru, South Kalimantan, is suspended by almost Rp10 trillion, Antaranews Kalsel reported.

Kotabaru Regional Secretary Said Akhmad said on Thursday that this was revealed at a meeting with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) recently.

“Yesterday I met in Makassar with West Sulawesi and other provinces with regard to the PI as invited by the ESDM Ministry as well as the Sebuku Block contractor. The PI has been detained for almost Rp10 trillion,” he said.

The Rp10 trillion figure is an accumulation since oil and gas production in the work area called the Sebuku Block began in 2013.

According to the agreement, PI is divided equally for two provinces, namely South Kalimantan and West Sulawesi. Then each provincial government will divide the other half into producing districts.

“It has been arranged directly by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, 50:50for West Sulawesi and South Kalimantan, between South Kalimantan and Kotabaru 50:50. So, South Kalimantan and West Sulawesi each get Rp5 trillion, South Kalimantan and Kotabaru for two means Rp2.5 trillion,” he explained.

The PI funds must go to regional companies. Actually Kotabaru is ready, but the law changes where the mining business moves its authority to the provincial government, so the provincial government must build a new regional company.

Unfortunately until now the fund is still being held up because the regional company formed by the South Kalimantan Provincial Government as the fund manager is not ready yet. This is because there are difficulties in filling the board of directors regarding the required qualifications.

“I have been to the Economic Bureau of the South Kalimantan Government, the company already exists, but no apply for the auction director because the requirements are too difficult. Then I say just point at the person so the money can go into the regional treasury, thus equally good for the provinces and the district,” Said said.