Kudahuvadhoo MP Ahmed Amir says the state needs to adopt new methods to generate income other than taxation.
Amir made the comment during the parliamentary debate on the proposed state budget for 2020.
He noted that the 2020 budget was heavily dependent on taxation as a source of income. He warned that the state must consider what it would do if it faced challenges in extracting tax money.
“The state needs to generate income other than solely through taxation… We need to accept that we cannot placate the people, and like fees for electricity and water, reclaim land at high costs, construct harbors at high cost, run projects at high costs, and provide proper services to the people from these facilities, for sure, without any income to the state,” said Amir.
He said that the lack of income sources other than taxation had become such a pressing issue because of the government’s decision to release grants and concessions unchecked, for political reasons.
“We need to consider whether selling land from Hulhumale’, selling land from Male’, and then reclaiming land at high costs in other places and then awarding land for free is really the most just approach,” said Amir.
He said that if the state was charging the people for public services defined under the Constitution, then the state also needed to generate income from large-scale projects.
The proposed budget for 2020 is MVR 37.5 billion, and the projected income and financial grants is MVR 29.92 billion – meaning a deficit of MVR 5.68 billion.