Some lawmakers of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) have spoken in favor of introducing an Income Tax.
While speaking at the parliamentary debate of State Budget 2017, Gaafu Dhaal atoll Thinadhoo MP Saudhullah Hilmy declared that an Income Tax would be a better solution to imposing other taxes of various names.
Saudhullah Hilmy, who is a supporter of former president and PPM leader Maumoon Abdula Gayoom's faction of the divided PPM, said that tax taken according to the income would bring ease to a lot of citizens.
Raa atoll Maduvvari MP Mohamed Ameeth also stated that the various taxes being taken now cause a lot of hassle to the citizens; hence, there needs to be potential in the state to impose an Income Tax.
“If Income tax is introduced, it would make it easier for us to fight against corruption,” said Ameeth.
Ameeth and Saudhullah are lawmakers who have gone against the party during various votes. Hence they have been transferred from major committees to minor ones.
Moreover, main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Llawmakers have also spoken in favor of an Income Tax though it is not included in the State Budget 2017. Instead the government has decided to take Airport Development Charge (ADC) from passengers departing from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), the main gateway of the country. Majority of the parliamentarians have expressed their disappointment towards the USD 25 Fee to be taken as ADC. Most of the lawmakers say that ADC should not be taken from locals.
Speaking at the parliamentary budget review committee meeting held to discuss the State Budget 2017 proposed to the parliament, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA)’s governor Dr Azeema Adam was the first to note the lack of mention of income tax in the budget.
"However, there is not enough time to take income tax in 2017,” she had said.
The state budget of MVR 26.8 billion proposed for next year includes higher taxes and new income generating fees to increase state revenue including ADC, long leases of reclaimed land for guesthouse development, a congestion fee from vehicles in capital Male, higher import duties of cigarettes, fizzy drinks and energy drinks, authorising an additionional 400 licenses for taxis, increasing the dividend of state run companies to 60 percent and charging acquisition fees from Special Economic Zones (SEZ).