The Bali administration will be earning billions of rupiah in additional revenue annually through a new fee to be charged for the extension of work permits for foreign workers.
The provincial administration has formulated a bylaw to regulate the work permit extension procedure and the levy to be charged upon permit extensions.
“As of this year, the central government has given us the authority to process the extension of foreign workers’ permits. It includes the authority to charge a fee for the extension process. This bylaw has been created to prepare for all of those matters,” said the head of Bali’s Manpower and Transmigration Office, I Wayan Suasta, during the introduction of the draft bylaw at Wiswa Sabha, the governor’s office in Denpasar on Monday.
The proposed bylaw, which consists of 29 articles, stipulates that all companies hiring foreign employees should pay the fee.
The fee will be Rp 1 million (US$104) per month, per person. “It is the company’s obligation. They should pay it,” he said.
Suasta said that the collected fees would be used to fund many programs to increase the abilities of local workers. “We will use the revenue to benefit local workers, providing them with training and many other programs to increase their skills,” he added.
Data from the Manpower and Transmigration Office recorded approximately 1,700 foreigners currently working in Bali, excluding any unregistered workers.
The provincial manpower office counted 1,420 foreigners holding work permits across the island in 2010, a number that increased to 1,455 in 2011. The provincial data shows most foreign workers were employed in the hotel and restaurant sector, with workers from Australia, Japan and France dominating the ranks of expatriate workers.
From the fee, Suasta predicted that the Bali administration would earn billions of rupiah, more every year. “But we will not focus on the amount of revenue. We will focus on how to give the best services to foreign workers when processing their permits,” Suasta said.
Suasta acknowledged the presence of illegal foreign workers in Bali. Unfortunately, Suasta said that his administration did not have any data on these illegal foreign workers. “Later, we will tighten our monitoring of foreign workers. Because if they work here without a permit it will harm local workers,” he added.
Suasta explained that the administration would introduce the draft bylaw before submitting it to the Bali Legislative Council. ”We are targeting to submit the draft in March,” he said.
Previously, Putu Satyawira Mahendra, chairman of the Tourism Workers Union (SP-Par), confirmed that the union welcomed foreign workers to Bali provided that they met all the required employment standards. “But we are very concerned over the excessive number of foreigners who work in the industry illegally,” he said.
Mahendra added that the Bali administration had always forced local workers to abide by the law and regulations. “At the same time, they [the authorities] are not enforcing the same rules on these illegal foreign workers. That’s unfair,” he said.
Bali to earn revenue from foreign worker permits | The Jakarta Post