1.Government approval of the extension of built up area extension in resorts to up to 30%.
This has been a key area of MATI’s lobby with the Government during the past decade. MATI felt that the relaxation of the built up area requirement will enable resort managements to provide better facilities both to guests and staff. It would also allow more flexibility and versatility in resort design and construction.
2.Meetings with the President and other high level authorities regarding the price hikes at the airport
For airlines at INIA, the rising costs at the international airport for flight operations and the passengers had been a matter of serious concern to MATI. The issue was raised with the former President Nasheed on 6 February of 2011. MATI had also been discussing with Ministers and other senior officials in finding ways to meet the challenge of high costs.
3.Working with Male’ City Council to tackle the issue of waste being dumped into the sea.
The problem of waste disposal had remained a constant challenge to the resorts,
especially those at a distance from Thilafushi. Resorts close to Thilafushi have also been subject to new regulations issued by the Male’ City Council, the operators of Thilafushi, set charges for bigger vessels based on the size of the vessel. MATI seeked to establish a uniform system of charges and services for Thilafushi. Nevertheless, the larger question of waste disposal for distant resorts still remains.
4.Discussion with the Government regarding its decision to include foreign staff in the retirement pension scheme.
MATI stressed that we did not believe it is a good idea to include foreign tourism staff in the Maldives pension scheme as already a lot of companies struggle to cope with the pension fund contribution for locals plus trying to help maintain the living standards enjoyed by the staff prior to the devaluation of the rufiyaa. Added costs and financial burden on the cash flow of tourist resorts would mean considerable difficulties for resort operators. We continue our lobby, both with the Pensions Authority and the Citizen’s Majlis to amend the Law on Pensions.
5.T-GST and BPT