Gov't does not intend to revoke licenses for failure to pay resort rent

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has said that the government has no immediate intention of revoking the licenses of some resorts that have not paid rent to the State.

Replying to questions from MPs at Monday's Parliament sitting, Minister Mausoom said the ministry has the legal power to revoke the licenses of resorts that do not pay rent and close down the premises. However, due to the Maldives' economic situation, the priority at this time is to collect due payments, the Minister said. He added that the government should also consider the loss of jobs due to the closure of resorts.

"Negotiations are ongoing to collect the money. It should be noted that the outstanding payments are being received," he said.

Maumoon said notices had been issued to 18 resorts that have not paid their rent and that various stages of rent collection are ongoing. He said he believed that the issue needed an immediate and permanent solution and assured that necessary steps would be taken in the interest of the State. He said he would not take any politically motivated action against the resorts.

The Minister's reply was met with dissatisfaction from Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. The Speaker said Minister Mausoom did not speak in the manner a cabinet minister should speak.