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State revenue drops by 69 percent in July

Mariyam Malsa
12 August 2020, MVT 17:59
Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) building in the capital. Government revenue fell by 69 percent in July 2020. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
12 August 2020, MVT 17:59

Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA), on Tuesday, revealed that state revenue for July 2020 fell by 69.6 percent.

As per MIRA’s official records, the state collected a total of MVR 656.10 million as revenue in July.

MIRA attributed the reduction to the steep decline in TGST, Green Tax and Tourism Land Rent due to the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry, the country's main source of income.

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Finance, Maldives' 2020 expenditure reached MVR 14.6 billion as of July 30 this year, despite only having secured a total of MVR 7 billion in revenue during the same period.

The bulk of government spending was attributed to recurrent expenditure, accounting for over MVR 10.27 billion while capital expenditure represented a figure of MVR 4.3 billion.

As with numerous countries around the world, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Maldives closed its air and sea borders to tourist arrivals on March 27, halting the issuance of on-arrival visas. The closure of borders remained in place until June 15.

Heavily reliant on tourism for revenue, the restrictions on international travel left the country vulnerable to severe economic repercussions. In mid-April, the World Bank projected that Maldives would be the worst-hit economy in the South Asian region due to the pandemic.

Maldives estimates a shortfall of approximately USD 450 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in foreign currency and a state deficit of MVR 13 billion in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the tourism industry.

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