Gov’t Explores Ways to Strengthen Councils, Including Tourism Tax Share

Minister of Cities, Local Government and Public Works Adam Shareef has signalled potential changes to legislation that could see councils receive 10% of the tax generated by the rural tourism industry. This was revealed during the inauguration of the Fanoalla Dharubaaru, an event conducted by the Local Government Authority (LGA).

Minister Adam Shareef highlighted the improving relationship between councils and the central government, noting positive shifts and the government’s ability to raise funds over the previous five months. He praised the efforts of President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, who has engaged with 170 councils as work progresses to address council requests.

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Minister Adam Shareef emphasised the ministry’s focus on studying Maldives’ decentralisation system. Maldives National University (MNU) is conducting an independent study of the Decentralisation Act’s implementation, necessary changes, and the benefits it should offer to councils and the wider population.

Furthermore, efforts have been made to empower councils and enable revenue generation. This includes councils receiving uninhabited islands. The government has also pledged a share of the tourism tax to councils, with discussions ongoing.

LGA CEO Mariam Zulfa explained that the Fanoalla Dharubaaru offers councils a platform to voice concerns to relevant bodies and propose changes vital to their work.

This year’s Fanoalla Dharubaaru, the largest council gathering, focuses on the five northern provinces. It involves island, atoll, and city councils and features sessions co-hosted by the LGA, UND, and the International Republican Institute (IRI).

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