The Ministry of Finance revealed that the government had collected MVR 11 billion in revenue as of October 22.
According to weekly statistics published by the ministry, the aforementioned figure represents a considerable decline from the MVR 19.9 billion collected as government revenue for the same period in 2019.
The highest revenue was sourced from tax, with MVR 8.4 billion. Non tax-revenue was recorded at MVR 2.1 billion while foreign aid accounted for MVR 592.1 million.
Although the government initially projected that revenue and foreign aid would reach a total of MVR 29.9 billion in 2020, the finance ministry has revealed that revenue figures would be lower than estimated as a result of the economic repercussions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the sizeable fall in revenue, government expenditure has increased significantly with MVR 20.7 billion spent till date. Authorities have estimated that total government expenditure for 2020 would reach MVR 35.96 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.