Decree to increase tourism income submitted to Parliament

Parliament member for Henveiru central constituency and Maldivian Democratic Party's parliamentary group leader, Ali Azim | Photo: Majlis

Male’, Maldives – The government, today has submitted a decree with numerous changes to tourism policies that if passed, would greatly increase government income from Tourism.

The amendment, which also has policies contributing to the increase of revenue in the 2021 budget, was proposed on behalf of the government by Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Member of Parliament for Medhu Henveiru Constituency and the Parliametary House Majority Leader Ali Azim.

Speaking on the matter, MP Azim said that with these amendments, income from the tourism sector to the government would drastically increase.

The decree was submitted with 20 amendments, which included developing private islands and leasing them long term to foreigners as a second home, and a policy change which allows resort and guesthouse owners to head lease rooms and land to other entities. A notable proposal is one that allows individuals to lease and establish businesses in islands developed through Integrated Tourism Projects

Under the government’s decentralization policy, while the President has the power to establish land for integrated tourism, resort and guesthouse projects, the amendment will now allow for local council’s to make the decision instead. Furthermore, islands, beaches, land and safari vessels outside Male’ leased for tourism will see changes brought to their rent amounts.

Earlier today, the Parliamentary Budget Committee passed the budget for 2021 at MVR 34.9 billion, after an increase of MVR 134 million. The expected revenue for 2021 was also increased by MVR 3.2 billion to MVR 21 billion.

Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed expressed the importance of passing the tourism decree before finalizing the 2021 budget, as amendments in the decree would greatly increase the revenue in the 2021 budget and said that a Parliamentary meeting investigating the decree would be held today