Maldives: Public enraged following news of discussions to raise GST, TGST


The public has expressed enragement over the news of the government initiating discussions with stakeholders on increasing the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and Tourism Goods and Service Tax (TGST).

The government is proposing to raise the GST from 6 percent to 8 percent, and raise the TGST from 12 percent to 16 percent.

It was discussed to implement the change within the next six months.

Following reports by local media outlets of the discussions – the general public have expressed anger and despair over the matter.

In this regard, many criticized the discussions being held on increasing GST and TGST at a time prices of goods have been increased and promotions and overtime allowances at government offices have been halted to decrease the government’s spending.

Underscoring that the prices of basic goods that require recurrent purchases have increased – the addition of increased GST and TGST to this is described by the public as shriveling them.

“When considering the jobs undertaken by the public and the salaries they receive, their hands do not meet their mouths. Whilst things are like this, initiating discussions to increase GST and TGST shows the lack of regard for the general public by the government,” a citizen had said.

Meanwhile, some members of the general public describe increasing tax as something being done for the personal benefit of senior government officials. Stressing that the large number of political posts existing within government offices are not utilized to its fullest capacity, they say that it is more perceptive to decrease spending by reducing the political posts.

“How many political posts are there even now. But, nothing happens. If they (the government) wish to decrease spending, they can do so by reducing useless political posts instead of increasing tax,” another citizen had said.

The government revealed that they were holding discussions with stakeholders to increase GST and TGST on Sunday.

Finance Ministry’s Communications Director Lamman Hameed told Sun on Sunday afternoon that the government was holding discussions with stakeholders to draft a fiscal strategy.

Lamman said subjects under discussions include proposed changes by the government, which would be publicized soon.

GST and TGST are two great sources of income for the government. Should these taxes be increased, prices of goods and services will hike further.