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Unpaid resort rent amounts to MVR 17 billion

Lamya Abdulla
20 April 2022, MVT 11:00
(FILE) A resort in Maldives: according to AGO most of the unpaid resort rent is due to unfinished resort projects
Lamya Abdulla
20 April 2022, MVT 11:00

Most of the unpaid money to state revenue collector, Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) in 2020 was resort rent and related fees according to the Auditor General's Office (AGO). The unpaid amount had reached MVR 17 billion (USD 1.1 billion) that year.

In the MIRA's audit report published by (AGO), the total unpaid money to MIRA in 2020 was MVR 22 billion (USD 1.4 billion). Unpaid resort rent is a total of 77.3 percent of the unpaid money to MIRA in that year.

According to the report, the unpaid money to MIRA keeps increasing year by year. There was an increase of 264 percent from 2016 to 2020 in terms of unpaid money.

After resort rent, business tax follows in unpaid money with a total of MVR 1.8 billion (USD 116 million). They had also not received MVR 1.6 billion (USD 103 million) in Goods and Service Tax and MVR 642 million (USD 41.6 million) in Travel Goods and Service Tax.

The report states the unpaid resort rent is so high because resorts do not get developed in the period given for them to become operational. However, the agreements made state rent for the resort have to be paid once the development period is over, regardless of whether it is operational. As these resorts remain unopened even after that period is over with a contract that has not been dissolved, related fees to unpaid rent also increases.

According to the report, most of the resorts that do not pay resort rent until 2020 are either being developed or the agreement has been since revoked. The AGO said that the measures being taken to recover the funds need to be strengthened, and that MIRA has been instructed to take swift action to do so as well.

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