Photo Credit: Rayyu Maldives
The Finance Ministry has announced that the lease payment of Maldivian resorts has been deferred for a year.
According to a circular released by the finance ministry, the deferral of the rent payment is to ease business and help them recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The circular states that lease rent payable by resorts for the third and fourth quarter of the year will be deferred until June 2021 and land leased for other ventures such as agriculture will also get a similar deferral.
The deferral payments for all parties are to be paid within a year in installments.
Payments can be distributed equally and paid on a quarterly basis starting June 21, 2021. This means that installments will be due on June 21, September 21, December 21, and March 21. Or payments can be paid monthly starting from June 1, 2021, and continue for 12 months.
The lease rent refers to the payment that parties have to pay to the government for the leased land. Maldives governments allow tourism leases up to 99 years, with rent calculated based on the land area of the island leased. The Tourism Land Rent has to be paid in advance for each quarter.
For the last few months, the issue of lease rent has become a major contentious issue due to the pandemic bringing a complete stop to the tourism industry and no income generated from the businesses.
As the Maldives is preparing to reopen its border on July 15, resorts and hotels on uninhabited islands and liveaboard vessels can begin hosting tourists.