Majlis will reconvene to discuss revenue raising measures

The People’s Majlis has agreed to return from recess on Tuesday (January 14) in order to discuss urgent amendments to tax and tourism legislation that will enable the government to raise vital revenue.

Local media has reported that the session will begin at 9am.

President Abdulla Yameen last week called upon the legislature to reassemble in order to facilitate the record MVR17.95 billion budget passed last month – of which MVR3 billion is reliant on new revenue raising measures.

“God willing, when the revenue related bills are passed next week the projects in atolls will speed up”, he said.

The measures include hiking Tourism GST from 8 percent to 12 percent, revising import duties, continuing tourism bed tax for one more year, raising airport departure charge for foreign passengers from US$18 to US$25, leasing 12 islands for resort development, introducing GST for telecommunication services, and obtaining resort lease payments as a lump sum.

Following the Majlis’s failure to extend tourism bed tax before the start of the current recess, Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad told local media that the resulting losses to state revenue would be MVR100 million a month.