The year 2016 has passed and we are entering 2017. From the legal viewpoint, particularly on the promulgation of laws, as seen in state secretary’s official website, there has been around 18 laws passed out of 50 prioritized bills. In 2015, there were 40 bills prioritized but only around 14 passed.
The year 2016 saw the promulgation of important laws, such as on security, cooperation on Indonesia-Vietnam defense and Indonesia-China defense, protection of fisherman, disability, preventing financial system crises and child protection. For the business community, laws on housing saving for public, patents, and especially tax amnesty were important. The law on housing saving for the public has benefits to low-income communities. Its implementation will be in 2018.
The patents law has several new features. The application of patent and excerpt of decision on granting of the compulsory license can be electronically filed now. It also permits that the record and announcement related to patent application to be made through electronic media. The simple patent can be granted for intangible inventions, in the form of new process or method, where in the old patent law, the simple patent is only limited to the tangible inventions. The pharmaceutical product that is legally marketed in another country and patented in Indonesia can be imported without the permission of patent holder (parallel import). The patented pharmaceutical product can be produced by other parties within five years before the expiry of patent protection, provided that the manufacturing is for licensing and marketing after the patent expires.
Tax amnesty law’s goals were to accelerate growth and restructuring of the economy, which results in liquidity improvement, currency betterment, interest rate reductions, and investment growth. Other goal is to escalate the state’s revenue to finance national development. Tax amnesty law is seen positive for the state and for any taxpayer, including individuals and corporations.
Bills to watch between 2017 and 2019 are bills on land, which has not been promulgated for the last several years. A bill on criminal code may affect the police and others related to law enforcement. A bill of amendment on oil and gas law, and amendment on mineral and coal law are important, especially since these sectors are struggling. A bill on criminal procedural law may affect arrest, seizure, search, and prosecution. A bill on civil procedural law is important so that Indonesia can have its own law rather than follow the old Dutch law. A bill on the remuneration system may have huge impact on business players. It is imperative for existing capital market law to be updated so that it can stay up-to-date with those worldwide. There is even a plan to promulgate a law on the palm industry.
Laws are now becoming more specific and sectoral. If this continues, the House will have to work hard to pass all proposed bills going to 2019. While business players, academicians, organizations will be involved in the process, the public’s involvement is crucial to ensure that the laws address present issues and can be implemented.