Opposition pledges Green Tax revenue to island councils

An opposition government would allocate revenue from Green Tax to island councils to fund environmental protection and waste management efforts, opposition alliance presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih pledged Thursday.

Green tax was introduced in October 2015 for tourists who stay in tourist resorts, tourist hotels, tourist vessels and guesthouses.

USD6 is payable per day of stay from tourist resorts, tourist hotels and tourist vessels while USD3 is payable by tourist guesthouses.

Speaking during a campaign trip to Kaafu Atoll Maafushi island on Thursday, the veteran lawmaker noted that the island renowned for its guesthouse tourism generates millions in revenue from tourism taxes for the state but lacks a proper waste management system.

Solih said an opposition government would establish a 'Green Fund' where part of the revenue from Green Tax would be diverted to fund environmental protection and waste management in individual islands.

The Hinnavaru lawmaker also dubbed Maafushi as a model island of self-sufficiency and pledged to further develop guesthouse tourism in the island by reclaiming land from the lagoon which he insisted that the incumbent government had failed.

According to official statistics, the inland revenue authority had collected MVR493 million in Green Tax so far this year.