MVR 4 billion waived off from resort rental fines

18 Sep 2023 | 19:39
Pictures of resorts

The Ministry of Tourism has waived MVR 4 billion from the fine imposed for non-payment of rent for resorts that are under development.

According to Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom, a significant portion of the rental fine was forgiven during the restructuring of the resort rental fine. He explained resort that wasn't completed and was non-operational are eligible for the exemptions. He stated that there is only the rent penalty. 

" We have done restructuring by writing off. You can call it forgiven. However, we have found a way for those resort owners to go forward with their projects. If they don't go ahead with the projects I guarantee you that we will take the next step towards them

Said Dr Mausoom

He further elaborated that the resort penalty of 0.5 per cent is a huge amount and he explained due to this the resort owner has not been able to move forward.  He explained that this is a way forward. 

Before the waiver, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a reduction in the resort rent penalty in 2020. The penalty for failing to pay resort rent was decreased from 0.5% at that time to 0.0493%. However, MIRA has highlighted that the tourism ministry notified them last month that these fines have been cancelled. 

Even though this cancellation of fines has moved forward. The tourism ministry has not yet revealed how many resorts have received the following exemption despite the number of islands left behind to build resorts is closer to 100. 

According to MIRA's most recent statistics, MVR 13.4 billion in fines for resort rentals have not been received. The whole amount of resort rent received is not MVR 3.4 billion.

Mausoom said none of the resorts where the fine has been waived will including the ones that are currently operational.

Even though a sizable sum was reduced after the penalty adjustment, a motion to modify the Tourism Act to lower land rent for resorts was made in Parliament last year. However, the amendment was dropped a few days later.