The tax authority reported an extraordinary increase of 66.1percent in February revenues, off the back of an increase in tourist arrivals in January. Total income reached MVR1.5billion (US$97million).
Increments in green tax, land acquisition fees and GST contributed to higher than expected receipts last month, the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority said.
MIRA collected US$30.8million in land acquisition fees, US$18.1million in tourism lease extension fees and US$24.1million in TGST. US$3million was collected as green tax, which was imposed in November last year.
Tourist arrivals had increased by 11 percent in January when compared to last year.
Revenue receipts in January stood at MVR1.71billion (US$110million), an 11 percent increase compared to last year, but one percent below forecasts.
President Abdulla Yameen’s administration hopes to raise MVR21.5billion in revenue this year. However, with expenses at MVR27.5billion, the fiscal deficit is projected to stand at MVR3.4billion or six percent of GDP.
The opposition says the revenue projections are unrealistic, noting that US$100million expected as acquisition costs for Special Economic Zones had not materialised the year before.
Economic growth is expected to pick up to 6.4 percent, up from 4.8 percent in 2015. Growth is to be driven by construction sector growth because of large infrastructure projects such as a bridge connecting the capital Malé to the airport island.
The government also hopes to attract 1.5million tourists this year with the launching of the Visit Maldives Year 2016 campaign. The Maldives hosted the international trade and tourism fair ITB in Berlin last week.