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How to Slice a Visa Pie

Bali Demands a Share of the Lucrative Revenues Generated from Visas on Arrival.

(4/3/2010) Beritabali.com says that the provincial government of Bali is demanding a share of the income the national government collects through the sale of visa-on-arrivals purchased at the island's Ngurah Rai International Airport. At present all funds collected for visas are remitted to Jakarta.

Governor Made Mangku Pastika says that Bali is only asking for a fair share of visa revenues, viewing the request as equitable and a valid form of balancing revenues between the central government and the provinces. What's more, according to Pastika, Bali is making a substantial contribution to the national coffers via the monies collected from inbound tourists.

In defending Bali's claim to a share of visa revenues, the governor pointed to the island's dependence on tourism and its lack of exploitable natural resources, such as other parts of Indonesia. "We don't have natural resources, we don't have oil, we don't have gas and we don't have coal, yet we do produce a lot of foreign exchange," the governor emphasized.

Governor Pastika would not adopt a legal excuse for refusing to share visa revenues, insisting that Bali has a right to its share of visa fees.