Civil Society Pushes for Inclusive Customs and Taxation Policies 

Yogyakarta, The PRAKARSA - The PRAKARSA became one of the panelists in a public discussion discussing inclusive and fair customs and taxation policies. Located at Grand Keisha, Yogyakarta. On Tuesday (14/5/2024). This event was attended by resource persons from various civil society organizations, including government and the private sector. 

This discussion is intended to encourage tax policies, especially regarding import duties, that meet the needs of people with disabilities and migrant workers. This also includes technology transfer policies from neighboring countries that produce supporting devices and technology, especially for individuals with disabilities. Apart from that, this discussion is also intended to ensure the implementation of Article 9 and Article 20 of the CRPD, the role of the state in providing accessibility and access to assistive devices and technology to facilitate improving the quality of life by increasing mobility for people with disabilities. 

This discussion is part of a broader initiative to include top tax issues assistive devices into the fair tax category. Risnawati Utami from the OHANA Association highlighted the situation of people with disabilities in Indonesia, who still face various challenges. "There is a lack of adaptive assistive devices for mobility, communication, reading and writing, as well as the limited availability of assistive devices on the Indonesian market," he said. 

He also added that there was “a lack of investment in Assistive technology for people with disabilities,” is one of the main obstacles in improving their quality of life. 

Meanwhile, Yustinus Prastowo, Special Staff to the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia, emphasized the importance of simplifying the process of importing assistive devices for people with disabilities. "We must ensure that the process of importing assistive devices does not become an obstacle for those who need it," said Yustinus. He added that the government is working to formulate more inclusive and fair policies in terms of taxation and customs. 

The discussion participants agreed that tax and customs policies for disabilities require investment and clear regulations. In addition, private sector involvement and collaboration between institutions are also considered important to achieve this goal. "Collaboration between government, the private sector and civil society is very necessary to create an ecosystem that supports accessibility for people with disabilities," said Samira Hanim, Researcher at The PRAKARSA.

The follow-up plan for this discussion includes several concrete steps. First, a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) will be held to explore the issues that have been discussed. Second, data collection regarding the need for assistive equipment will be carried out to better understand the needs in the field. Third, manufacturing Policy Briefs which will be prepared based on findings from discussions and data collected. Finally, correspondence for the audience with the Ministry of Finance will be carried out to convey the results and recommendations of this discussion. 

Policy Briefs which will be compiled later will cover various important themes. First, systemic problems that hinder the accessibility of assistive devices for people with disabilities. Second, technological incentives that can be provided to encourage innovation in the manufacture of assistive devices. Third, the benefits of assistive devices for people with disabilities in improving their quality of life. Fourth, recommendations for the government in formulating more inclusive and just policies. Finally, examples of the experiences of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities (OPDis) in encouraging the availability of assistive devices will be included as case studies. 

"We hope that this Policy Brief can be a guide for the government in formulating policies that are more inclusive and fair," said Samira Hanim. He also emphasized that access to assistive devices for people with disabilities is a basic right that must be fulfilled by the state. 

With this discussion and follow-up plan, it is hoped that access to assistive devices for people with disabilities will become easier and more affordable. This is expected to help them become more independent and productive in their daily lives. "We are optimistic that with good cooperation between all parties, we can create a more inclusive and just environment for people with disabilities," concluded Yustinus Prastowo. 

This discussion marks an important first step in efforts to create more inclusive and just policies in Indonesia. With strong commitment and collaboration, it is hoped that positive changes can be realized soon. 

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