MVR 4 bn waived from resort rent non-payments

MVR 4 billion has been waived for non-payment of resort rent following the amendment of resort development regulations.

The government amended the rules for payment of rent to the government for islands and land leased for construction of tourist resorts, tourist hotels and tourist guesthouses during the pandemic.

In case of non-payment of rent, for every day leading up to payment of unpaid rent to the government, a penalty of 0.5 percent is added to the rent, which is 182.5 percent annually, but with the amendment in the rules, the penalty will now have to be paid at 0.0493 per day, which is 18 percent annually.

Even with this amendment, the penalty to be paid will not be waived off. Instead, the penalty till the unpaid rent is paid to the government will be 18 percent per annum.

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom told 'One' that the government has revised the schedule for payment of fines and re-entered into agreements due to reduction in the previous high rates.

"So far, the number is only in the book. So, it will be easier for them too to repay the amount by easing the debt," Mausoom said.

He said that with the amendment in the rules, only resorts under-construction would be exempted from the penalty, which would facilitate the construction and opening of the existing resorts.

Last year, an amendment was moved to the Tourism Act to reduce the land rent of resorts, but the amendment was withdrawn a few days later.

According to MIRA's latest figures, MVR 13.4 billion has not been paid as fine for resort rent, and MVR 3.4 billion has not been received as resort rent alone.