The tourism ministry published Sunday new rules for separately leasing lagoons of resort islands.
The lagoon can be reclaimed once the separate acquisition cost is paid and a new lease agreement is signed with the tourism ministry.
According to the regulation, the ministry can alter the acquisition fee based on a land survey report that must be submitted after reclamation.
The proposed acquisition fees are lowest for the northernmost and southernmost atolls at US$1.2 million per 10 hectares. In contrast, the cost of lagoons in Malé atoll is US$6 million. The cost ranges between US$3 to US$5 million for the other central atolls.
The tourism law was controversially revised in July 2015 to allow the government to bypass a competitive bidding process and lease listed properties to parties that submit a suitable proposal.
A list of islands and lagoons available for leasing is published annually with pre-determined acquisition costs.