Malé, Maldives – Leader of the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Parliamentary Group, MP Mohamed Aslam has assured that amendments can be put forward despite the three-line whip to pass the bill without further changes to the government’s proposal.
The Hithadhoo north constituency MP told local media that the three-line whip was imposed on the MDP MP’s to ensure that the bill does not get kicked out of parliament.
Government has proposed to increase General Goods and Services Tax (GGST) from 6 percent to 8 percent with Tourism Goods and Services Tax (TGST) increase from 12 percent to 16 percent.
Aslam added that the tax hike bill is of national importance and that if any MP wants to suggest amendments, that they can put forward it during the committee stage discussions and research.
He also told that the government wishes to have the bill passed before the 2023 budget for the nation was sent to the parliament and if not there would be consequences.
Although the whip has been passed by MDP’s Parliamentary Group, several MP’s have spoken against the tax hike during the current economic distress.
Former President and incumbent Speaker of the Maldives Parliament Mohamed Nasheed had also refuted against the hike when it was announced by the government in July. He also stated that this decision was unacceptable and was made without discussing with the MDP parliamentary group.
Speaker Nasheed stated that the economic recovery could be achieved with debt restructuring instead of increasing GST and had proposed to decrease state expenditure.