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Seeking a Local Share of the Visa Fees

Bali's Provincial and Regional Legislators Call for a Local Share of Fees Collected in the Visa-on-Arrival Process.

(5/31/2004) Regional and provincial legislators from the Badung and Bali representative assemblies continue to call on the Central Government in Jakarta to share some of the revenues collected from tourists paying under the visa-on-arrival scheme introduced on February 1, 2004.

Indonesian administrative procedures generally provide for a "share" of any national tax collected on a local level to remain with the locality. This, however, has not been the case in the collection of fess for the visa-on-arrival process with the Central Government maintaining the visa fee is not a tax, arguing this fact releases them from any obligation to share this wealth with local municipalities.

In response, local legislators are demanding a share of the fees on the basis that the subject fees are collected because of Bali's allure as a destination. They also argue tourism is Bali's main industry and therefore most likely to suffer economic setbacks because of the visa fee's implementation.

The local legislators have also renewed their call for an evaluation of the impact of the visa fee and an improvement in the level of service in the collection process.

Recent reports from the airport confirm that the former three-step process of immigration has been simplified, lessening the waiting time for arriving passengers to Bali.