President Mohamed Nasheed ratified amendments to the Export-Import Act of 1979 on Thursday, enacting a key piece of legislation in the government’s economic reform package intended to reduce and eliminate import duties for a wide range of goods from January 2012.
Under the amended Act, zero rate now applies to construction material, foodstuffs and machinery run of renewable energy.
In his weekly radio address on Friday, Nasheed said the budget submitted to parliament “will make 2012 a duty free year.”
As a result of the shift from indirect to direct taxes, Nasheed noted, government revenue from custom duties levied upon imported goods will drop by Rf700 million next year.
Economic forecasts predict that prices for some items would fall by 9 or 13 percent, he added.