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Parliament rejects guesthouse sovereignty resolution

Raif Amyl Jalyl
17 June 2019, MVT 20:37
62 MDP MPs vote in favour of rejecting the resolution to grant sovereign guarantee for guesthouses. PHOTO: MIHAARU.
Raif Amyl Jalyl
17 June 2019, MVT 20:37

The Parliament on Monday rejected a resolution which demanded that the government grant sovereign guarantees to guesthouse businesses.

The resolution submitted by Kaashidhoo MP and businessman Abdulla Jabir was rejected by 62 votes from lawmakers belonging to Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). While 15 parliamentarians voted in favour of the resolution, two MPs abstained from voting.

The majority of MDP parliamentarians spoke against the resolution during the debate held over the proposal.

Vilufushi MP and MDP member Hassan Afeef said that sovereign guarantees should be extended solely to the government's major investments. However, he acknowledged that the current administration also prioritized the expansion of the guesthouse industry.

Moreover, Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef claimed that Jabir submitted the resolution for his own benefit. Shareef further articulated that extending sovereign guarantees to general businesses was unacceptable.

Ihavandhoo MP and MDP member Mohamed Shifau declared that the resolution contains defamatory accusations against the government and that more pertinent issues were available for discussion on the parliament floor.

The proposal, submitted last Thursday, declared that foreign investors had taken control of the tourism sector including the guesthouse industry, resulting in low profit for local businesses. The resolution raised fears that foreign investors would seize complete control of the guesthouse industry.

According to the resolution, the situation resulted from inadequate financing of development projects and challenges faced by guesthouse owners in securing the few financial recourses available through banks.

Jabir's resolution stated that local control of the guesthouse industry could be achieved if the state created an easier financing system for guesthouse investors by providing sovereign guarantees.

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