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Indonesia to punish firm burning forest


08:35, June 21, 2013

JAKARTA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia will unveil the firm which burns the forest for opening oil palm plantation and impose punishment on it, a minister said on Thursday.

Agriculture Minister Suswono Arsyaf made the statement following complaints from neighboring countries over haze resulted from forest fire in Sumatra island of Indonesia.

Suswono said that an investigation was launched to find out the firm responsible for the air pollution.

"I agree (to publish) the firm if it is proven guilty," he told reporters.

Suswono said that the government had applied Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standard banning burning the forest during land clearing for the opening of plantation.

"They can also be punished under environtmental law," said Suswono.

Haze from Sumatra and Kalimantan (Borneo) have often spread to neigboring Singapore and Malaysia that cost about 9 billion U.S. dollars loss per year.

Indonesia and the countries concerned have coordinated to overcome the long-standing problem.

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