MVR 3.9 million as green tax revenue in June

Tourists at Velana International Airport. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Records released by Finance Ministry show the state collected a low MVR 3.9 million as green tax in June.

According to the green fund report released by Finance Ministry, the MVR 3.9 million collected as green tax in June include MVR 1.7 million from tourist properties in K. Atoll, MVR 307,000 from tourist properties in A. Dh. Atoll, and MVR 306,000 from tourist properties in Lh. Atoll.

The state did not receive green tax revenue from seven atolls; Sh. Atoll, F. Atoll, Th. Atoll, L. Atoll, G. Dh. Atoll, and Fuvahmulah City and Addu City.

By the end of June, the green fund – utilized to finance environmental protection and sustainable development projects such as water and sanitation projects, coastal protection projects and waste management projects – had a balance of MVR 918 million.

MVR 41 million was spent from the fund in June. The biggest spending, at MVR 16 million, was on land reclamation and construction of a revetment wall in K. Thilafushi.

Green Tax was first imposed on tourists who stay at resorts at the rate of USD 6 per night in 2015. It was expanded to tourists who also stay at guesthouses at the rate of USD 3 per night in 2016.

Green tax revenue had begun to decline with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, and had dropped drastically following the closure of resorts and guesthouses, and the closure on the country’s borders in March.

Prior to that, the state had collected MVR 84.9 million as green tax in January, MVR 77.2 million as green tax in February, and MVR 74 million as green tax in March.

Maldives reopened its borders on July 15. Resorts and liveaboard vessels have been allowed to resume operations, while guesthouses in residential islands outside of Male’ region will be allowed to resume operations on October 15.

Maldives is currently open to all tourists, provided they have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken maximum 72 hours before departure from their original destination. However, tourist arrivals remain significantly low due to the ongoing pandemic.