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#Maldives: September revenue collection 2% less than forecast, 48% of revenue comes from Tourism - MIRA

#Maldives: September revenue collection is 2% less than forecast, announced Maldives Inland Revenue Authorty yesterday. In a fact sheet publicized yesterday, MIRA reported that revenue collection in Maldivian Rufiya for September totalled 6.6.3 million and 29.2 million in dollars. This was an increase of 16% over September 2011, but a decrease of 2% from the projected value.

Tourism land rent contributed 36.4% to total revenue, while Goods and Services Tax contributed 28.6%. Business Profit Tax contributed 12.3%, Tourism Tax 11.3% and Airport Service Charge 4.3%.

Over 50% of US dollar revenue was from Tourism Land Rent while Tourism Tax contributed 15.6%, thus making it 65.7% YS dollar revenu directly from the Tourism industry.

These figures is brings into sharp focus the high dependence of Maldives on the tourism industry, and industry now being threatened by former President Mohamed Nasheed and his friends overseas.Mohamed Nasheed has consistently carried out campaigns overseas to prevent tourism from visiting the Maldives. Prior to the election success of the opposition coalition in 2008 which installed him as President, Nasheed and his rich foreign benefactors ran a campaign led by an organization called Friends of Maldives. This organization is owned and led by Nasheed's college mate, a Christian missionary named David Hardingham. When he because president Nasheed rewarded Hardingham with the post of Honorary Consul for Salisbury.

Nasheed's first anti-Maldives Tourism campaign initially called for tourists to stop visiting Maldives alleging wide scale human rights abuse. Later, after the Asian Tsunami of 2004 which devastated Maldives and destroyed over 20% of tourism infrastructure, Nasheed ran a campaign calling on European countries not to give aid to Maldives for tsunami recovery. Coming at the crucial time that Maldivian people needed foreign aid, Nasheed's campaign hit hard in areas of housing and basic infrastructure and services for tsunami affected peoples.

The current campaign against Maldives Tourism is led by rich benefactors such as Virgin Air billionnaire Richard Branson and actor Edward Norton. The current campaign blindly ignores the internationally accepted and legitimate transfer of power from Nasheed to his elected Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan, and takes up the cause of their friend Nasheed, a corrupt leader who violated human rights and the constitution during his short term as President. Unfortunately for the Maldives people, they have nowhere the riches nor the type of resources and leverage with international media needed to fight such morally irresponsible attacks by the rich.




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