Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor has stressed on the need for a rethink about levying Goods and Service Tax (GST) in the Maldives.
Speaking to Haveeru, Adeeb claimed that the reduction of import duties on goods had not reciprocated a favorable decrease in the prices of such goods.
“Before GST was introduced, State revenue was higher from import duties. Hence we need to rethink whether we must levy general GST or import duty. There is a discrepancy between the income generated from import duty in comparison with the amount received as GST,” Adeeb said.
Minister further revealed that the combined revenue from GST and import duties is estimated to be MVR1.4 billion for the current year.
He claimed that the State had earned MVR2.5 billion from import duties alone prior to the introduction of GST.
Adeeb also noted that though the benefit to the State from GST was lower than expected, the income received as Tourism GST (TGST) was quite considerable.
Minister alleged that the cut of import duties from some goods had not been fair and stressed on the importance of levying taxes that would not have adverse effects on the government, businesses and the people.
On that note, Minister stressed that the taxation process must not be prejudiced in favor of a specific party.