JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian government will strictly monitor foreign-flagged tourist boats in Labuan Bajo on Flores Island that have not filed the annual taxes, a senior minister said on Friday, September 11.
“There are about 500 [boats] now that must be monitored. Don’t let them [boat companies] operate there without paying taxes and following the regional government regulations,” Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut said in a press statement.
Luhut said the government plans to buy patrol boats to monitor the vessels without flags operating in the small harbor town of Labuan Bajo in eastern Indonesia. “We have to do thorough surveillance. If not, it will create problems.”
Luhut said the taxes paid by the boat operators could be potential income for the regional government. The West Manggarai Administration recorded about 4,000 tourist vessels currently operating in Labuan Bajo. However, he added, only about 500 ships have been registered and authorized to carry out tourism activities.
Together with Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Luhut visited Labuan Bajo to review several infrastructure development projects to support the National Strategic Tourism Area.
Media reported that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo continued to invest heavily in infrastructure projects in his second five-year term in office. President Jokowi has also planned to develop Labuan Bajo as a premium tourist destination by integrating hygiene, comfort, and safety for tourists.
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