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Government revenue down in third quarter

Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 October 2016, MVT 16:13
Items pictured at a shop. FILE PHOTO: MOHAMED SHARUHAAN/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 October 2016, MVT 16:13

Government revenue from taxes dropped last quarter, while the annual revenue is not expected to reach the projected amount, statistics show.

According to the statistics of this year’s third quarter released by Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) on Sunday, the state recorded a revenue of MVR 3.46 billion in the third quarter, which is a decrease of 5.8 percent from last year’s MVR 3.67 billion. The record also falls seven percent short of the projected estimate for the last quarter.

The highest revenue was recorded from Goods and Services Tax (GST) with MVR 1.3 billion, followed by Business Profit Tax (BPT) with MVR 997 million. Land leases for tourism brought in MVR 360 million. While GST and BPT revenue had gone down from the previous quarter, the revenue from land leases had spiked significantly with a 36.9 percent increase.

Despite the increase in land leases for tourism, the statistics for Tourism Goods and Services Tax (TGST) indicates the current lull in the Maldives’ tourism industry. The revenue from TGST last quarter stood at MVR 780.88 million, which is a drop of 23 percent from the previous quarter and a 10.8 percent decrease from last year. The amount also falls 8.1 percent short of the projected revenue from TGST for the third quarter, which was MVR 849.26 million.

However, the US Dollar revenue had spiked last quarter, recording USD 122.91 million which is an increase of 1.2 percent from the previous year’s USD 121.44 million.

MIRA estimates a revenue of MVR 2.67 billion from taxes in the last quarter of this year, which is 5.8 percent higher than 2015’s final quarter.

The parliament had approved a state budget of MVR 27.5 billion for 2016, which had projected a revenue of MVR 21.5 billion, the bulk of which is to be earned via increased taxes and new taxes. The revenue projected to be earned from taxes was MVR 16.8 billion.

However, MIRA now estimates that the government revenue from taxes by the end of this year will be MVR 14.06 billion, which falls MVR 2.47 billion short of the original projection.

The government had also estimated a budget deficit of MVR 3.4 billion for this year. However, the deficit is expected to increase due to low revenues.

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