Indonesian govt considers three grounds to evaluate visa-free facility

Indonesian govt considers three grounds to evaluate visa-free facility

Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. (ANTARA/M. Agung Rajasa/P003)

If there is no benefit for us, why should we give it to them."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government is considering three grounds to evaluate and revoke its visa-free entry facility for some countries, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said.

The decision to revoke the facility, however, was not prompted by violations of immigration laws recently, Panjaitan clarified here Friday (Jan. 6).

"We will evaluate the benefits of providing visa-free entry facility to some countries. If there is no benefit for us, why should we give it to them," he asserted.

"Secondly, we will evaluate the potential to abuse this facility. Thirdly, we will consider what added value can we get from this? If we have nothing, why should we give them (the facility)," he asked.

The evaluation would be conducted randomly and is expected to be completed within a month, he said. "The evaluation will not be finished in a day. We need at least a month to recheck everything," he said.

Earlier, the government said it would evaluate its visa-free policy, which gives tourists from 169 countries free entry to Indonesia.

"However, it would be too early to disclose the details. Let the immigration directorate general and other related institutions conduct the evaluation," he declared.

The visa-free policy should be evaluated if it has failed to significantly contribute to the countrys economy, he explained.

The facility, could be revoked for some countries, considering the possibility of violation of Indonesias law, he revealed.

However, based on preliminary evaluation, so far, only few foreigners had used their visa to work in Indonesia or stay longer, he reiterated.

"Those who have said that the number of illegal foreign workers has reached thousands or hundreds of thousands, I would like to meet them. Show me the data, where such workers were found and we can go there," he said.

Since 2015, the government has provided visa-free entry policy to 169 countries.

(Reported by Ade Irma Junida/Uu.S022/INE/KR-BSR/B003)

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