Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom said on Monday that reducing resort rent would lead to more state benefits than losses.
The amendment proposed by the government to the Tourism Act during the previous session of the parliament proposes to reduce land rent for resorts developed in different parts of the country.
Responding to a question posed by parliament member for Velidhoo constituency Mohamed Abdulla Shafeeq at today's parliament sitting, Mausoom said that the most beneficial way for the state to obtain funds is not to collect land rent from resorts, and that reducing rent will allow for new resorts to open. This would lead to increase in benefits due the tax system.
While answering questions from parliamentarians at the first sitting of the second session of the parliament today, he said the tax collected for the construction of new resorts is very high. He said the numbers will be shared when the bill is discussed at the committee stage.
Minister additionally stated that he hopes the parliament will pass the amendments proposed by the government.
The bill states that the reason for the amendment to the Tourism Act is to reduce the impact of the minimum wage on resort companies.
After questioning the minister was over, the parliament session was ended as there had been no bills proposed by the government, and questioning the minister was the only thing on today's agenda.
However Speaker Mohamed Nasheed noted that a lot of bills were at the committee discussion stage, and had requested them to be sent back to the parliament as soon as possible.