Trade Union supports revenue charges introduced

Workers lean against containers at the Male' Commercial Harbor on April 5, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Trade Union has expressed support for the reduction of import duty on some products imported into the country at a time when the economy was in shambles due to COVID-19.

A statement by the Trade Union said that it supported the revenue charge of one percent from imported goods until the country can overcome the economic crisis of COVID-19.

Previously, the government had been charging 10 Laari per MVR 100 from the amount issued for every export-import license through Revenue stamps. 

Changes to the law whereby anyone can import, export or re-export goods without a license, but by paying a stamp fee was introduced last year. 

Under the recent new amendments to the law, MVR 1 is to be charged per MVR 100 from a price set by Maldives Customs for goods to be imported, exported or re-exported.

Maldives Customs estimates that the amendments that saw reductions to import duties will reduce duties by MVR 178 million to businesses. 

Maldives Trade Union also noted the efforts by the government to stop unfair advantages and charges by Shipping agencies, local forwards and local importers. 

The union called on the government to put a quick stop the doors leading to corruption and cut down on expenditure during this delicate situation. It also stressed on diversification of the economy, which is dependent on one sector, quickly.

The statement ended with the union pledging full cooperation and support to the government to overcome the difficult situation faced by the economy due to COVID-19.