MP Siyam: Tax hike will decrease fishermen’s earnings, special model needed to patch this

Maldives Development Alliance (MDA)’s leader, Meedhoo MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed attends MDA's extraordinary congress on August 10, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Underscoring that the tax hike will decrease the earnings of local fishermen – President Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) and the Parliament representative of Dh. Meedhoo constituency MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed has emphasized on the need implement measures to address this.

Via a tweet, MP Siyam said that all administrations have been misleading regarding ensuring fair price for fishermen’s catches.

“The tax hike will further decrease fishermen’s earnings. Therewith, a special model is required to patch this,” he added.

MP Siyam’s remarks comes after the parliament approved the government proposed tax hike bill to raise Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 6 percent to 8 percent, and the Tourism Goods and Services Tax (TGST) from 12 percent to 16 percent on Wednesday. The bill was submitted on behalf of the government by Ihavandhoo MP Mohamed Shifaau.

Local councils of multiple islands have also expressed concerns over the tax hike. In a statement last month, HA. Ihavandhoo Council said that the fisheries sector was facing a multitude of difficulties at the moment including a decrease in earnings, a halt in the construction of fibre fishing boats and a decrease in the value of fish. Citing these reasons, the Council urged against approving the tax hike.

Many fishermen protested in L. Maandhoo last week – over delays in payment after purchasing fish from them.

The protests concluded after three days on Tuesday – when Horizon Fisheries operating their biggest factory in Maandhoo, agreed to the demands of the fishermen.