Would be chaos and mayhem without fee hikes – PICA
The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) is defending its planned fee hikes, asserting that without the increases, there would be chaos and mayhem in its operations.
PICA has been facing criticisms since it announced Sunday that most fees will be increased by more than 40 per cent as of next week.
The parliamentary opposition has called for a partial roll back, claiming that the increase is exorbitant.
The opposition also said the increase comes as most Jamaicans continue to work without salary increases in a tough economic environment.
However, chief executive officer of PICA, Jennifer McDonald, notes that as of this financial year the agency will no longer receive money from the consolidated fund.
She says as a result the agency has to find a way to raise the more than $300 million it normally gets to fund its operations.
Meanwhile, the PICA head insists the agency was reasonable in giving a one week notice before the fees take effect.
Speaking on Nationwide News Network last evening, she argued that it is not the norm for many public entities to give such notice.