Acquisition fees lowered due to lack of interest: Finance Ministry

The Finance Ministry has said the acquisition fees for islands on sale for resort development are revised due to a lack of interest by investors.

This year, the government put 16 islands on the market and later lowered the acquisition fee for the islands. The Tourism Ministry said the fee was reduced to provide more opportunities and time for investors. However, industry experts said it was an unwise move to put the islands on the market amid a global pandemic and said the islands must be advertised and promoted well before putting them up for sale.

As per the proposed budget for next year, the government hopes to put up 12 islands for sale next year. The acquisition fees for these islands will be lower than the average asking price, as the islands do not have a lot of demand from investors, the ministry said.

The acquisition fees for the islands being put on the market next year range between USD 700,000 and 1,000,000. The government hopes to generate a revenue of MVR 148 million through the sale of the islands. Although the government estimated a revenue of MVR 130 million this year by selling ten islands, only one island has been awarded to a party thus far.