Tourism bill passed by Parliamentary committee

Committee of the whole House metting on 02 Dec 2020 Photo: Majilis

Male’, Maldives – A decree submitted on behalf of the government with numerous changes to tourism policies, which if passed, would greatly increase government’s income from Tourism, has been passed by the Parliament’s Committee of the Whole House yesterday.

The decree was submitted by Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Member of Parliament for mid Henveiru constituency and the Parliamentary House Majority Leader Ali Azim on the 24th of November and is expected to bring in MVR 154.2 million in real estate tourism revenue in 2021.

The decree was passed earlier with the vote of 45 members of the Committee of the Whole House after bringing several minimal adjustments.

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 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.

To facilitate some amendments in this decree, changes were also brought to Maldivian Immigration laws, which now sates that corporate resident visas will be issued to individuals investing USD 250,000 to a government designated businesses.

Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed previously expressed the importance of passing this decree, as amendments in the decree would greatly increase the revenue in the 2021 budget.