The parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee finalised Sunday to charge a Green Tax of USD 4 from tourists staying in guesthouses from October.
A member of the committee told Mihaaru that three motions had been submitted during the committee meeting, of which Maafannu North MP and member of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Abdulla Rifau’s submission had been approved.
Rifau had proposed to amend the Green Tax from USD 6 to USD 4 and implement it from the beginning of October. The motion was approved with four members of PPM voting in favour, while members of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and government-aligned Jumhooree (Republican) Party had opposed.
Another motion to annul Green Tax from guesthouses, and to summon top officials of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Auditor General’s Office to discuss recent amendments to the Maldives’ Tourism Act had also been submitted, but subsequently rejected by the opposition.
Charging Green Tax from guesthouses had been submitted to the parliament by its Majority Leader Ahmed Nihan. Members of the opposition had disputed the amendment, declaring it a death sentence for local guesthouse tourism.
Green Tax was introduced last November and is currently charged from tourists in resorts, hotels and safaris.
The state’s Green Tax revenue for this year so far is USD 17.9 million (MVR 272 million). Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA)’s statistics indicate that Green Tax is the second largest source of dollar revenue for the state.