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Don't Run Away with Our Money

Bali Reissues a Determined Call for a Share of the Profits from the Management of the Island's Airport.

(4/6/2010) Bali is once again seeking a share of revenues generated through the management and operation of the Ngurah Rai International Airport. And, according to a report in Radar Bali, lawmakers and legislators from Bali are threatening extreme measures to ensure a "share of the spoils" are allocated to the island, including demonstrations in support of their demands every time a ranking national officials lands in Bali.

In keeping with Governor Pastika's ongoing campaign to see that Bali gets a portion of money collected by Jakarta in Bali, such as visa-on-arrival fees, the island's chief executive is reportedly also ready to fight for airport contributions already enjoyed by Makassar, Cengkareng and Banjarmasin. Underlining the governor's commitment, the provincial spokesman for Bali, Ketut Teneng, said that following meetings with Bali legislators working in the capital, the governor has confirmed his willingness to do whatever is necessary to obtain a financial contribution from the airport.

"At this time the governor is ready to join the fight to obtain a contribution from the airport's profits or to find a new formula that would allow such a contribution," said Teneng.

Teneng, however, seemed to temper the threat of demonstrations focused on visiting Jakarta leaders, emphasizing that early steps must include a study of the laws that would allowed the desired contribution to be secured from the airport authority. The spokesman explained: "The question naturally arises why Makassar, Cengkareng and Banjarmasin have such a contribution. What is the basis in law? That's what needed in order to strengthen Bali's fight to get a contribution."

Another suggestion tabled for raising local funds from the airport was making insurance mandatory for island visitors. Such an insurance program would be managed by the province. Teneng said this option would also need to be studied to see if it was viable. "All the options will be studied, from direct contributions, retribution and insurance," Teneng assured.

Wayan Disel Astawa, a member of Commission II of the Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), said: "A contribution (from PT Angkasa Pura II) is an absolute condition. Come on, let's fight for the contribution which has never been enjoyed by Bali."

Astawa compared Bali's situation with the profits share enjoyed by other destinations in Indonesia. Asking why Bali should be treated differently, he asked if Bali is any different from Makassar, Cengkareng of Banjarmasin?

Similar sounding sentiments were sounded by the Chairman of Commission IV DPRD-Bali, Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana. The outspoken legislator claimed Jakarta was treating Bali like a poor stepchild, saying: "Does Bali have to get tough? Bali has so far remained polite in our requests to settle this problem."