Local councils to receive 50 percent of Green Tax revenue

Environment Minister Aiminath Shauna has said that local councils will receive a large portion of the state's green tax revenue next year.

Minister Shauna said the decision was made upon the request of some councils to make the arrangement, at the Viavathi Raajje conference ongoing in Alif Alif Ukulhas.

The government introduced the Green Tax in October 2016 to gather funds to tackle environmental issues in the Maldives. USD 3 is charged as Green Tax per tourist at local guest houses, and USD 6 is charged per head at other tourism service providers. The "Green Fund" was later established in February 2019, and since then, revenue collected as Green Tax has been deposited into the fund. Currently, Green tax revenue is not spent on a particular atoll or island.

In the conference attended by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, councilors mainly proposed to allocate 50 percent of the green tax revenue to the councils. The councilors also proposed to increase the five percent grant allocated to local councils from the state budget to eight percent.

Following the conference, Minister Shauna said she would make arrangements in formulating next year's budget such that councils will receive green tax revenue as proposed by the councilors.

Minister Shauna said the green tax would be given to councils to utilize the funds to carry out environment-related activities. In this regard, the funds will be used to build waste management facilities on islands and to provide facilities and resources required for safe waste disposal.

President Solih said he would study the proposals made by the councils regarding the grant funds and green tax revenue and try to make them a reality.

The government has collected MVR 379.6 million as Green Tax from January to April this year. This is an increase of MVR 93.2 million compared to the same period last year.