Maldives withdraws proposal to slash tourism land rent

Maldives on Wednesday withdrew the amendment proposed to reduce lease rent of resorts operating in most parts of the country.

The Economic Council held a meeting Wednesday afternoon after the central bank, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), warned on Monday that if the Maldives were to take measures that would reduce its revenue, it could face a similar economic crisis as neighbouring Sri Lanka.

An official from the President’s Office told local media that the proposal to reduce rent was made before the Russia-Ukraine war, at a time when the Maldivian economy had been growing rapidly. The decision was reversed as global commodity and oil prices continued to rise in the wake of the war, he said.

In March, the government proposed amendments to the Tourism Act to reduce the land rent of resorts operating in many parts of the country, in a bid to cushion the financial impact on resorts from the recent introduction of minimum wage.

Under the minimum wage required for Maldivian employees at the beginning of this year, resorts fall under the category of large private businesses. Therefore, all Maldivian resort employees are entitled to a minimum of MVR38.46 per hour or a salary of MVR 8,000 per month.

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