An MVR231 million (US$14.9 million) project to develop an airport on Magoodhoo island – the first in the south-central Faafu atoll – was awarded to the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company.
A 1,500 runway, apron, taxiway, and passenger terminal are to be completed in 550 days. Land reclamation is also underway to expand the 22-hectare island by an additional 47.8 hectares.
The Housing Development Corporation invited the media for on-site briefings with private contractors of unfinished apartment complexes in Hulhumalé – Aqua Vita Residencies, K-Park Residence, The Gardens by JAAH Investments, and Aira condominiums by Ensis – all of which were reported to be at least 80% complete after falling behind schedule due to financial constraints and the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than MVR1 billion (US$64.8 million) is owed as tourism-related taxes, the finance ministry informed parliament, including MVR872 million of unpaid tourism goods and services tax and fines for non-payment.
By mid-2022, the state was owed a total of MVR15 billion (US$972 million) in unpaid taxes, rent and fines, according to the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority’s second quarter report. Unpaid land rent for resorts and tourism sales tax accounted for the bulk of the arrears.
It emerged in May that 12 resorts owed a combined MVR665 million in unpaid land rent. But action under the enforcement policy was deferred for the resorts to seek a negotiated settlement with the tourism ministry, it was reported in August.
The Bank of Maldives announced the winners of BML Hackathon, a 48-hour contest with more than 30 participants to “develop innovative fintech ideas and solutions to enhance customer experience and operational excellence.”
The three winning teams will be able to develop their ideas over a six-month period with support from the bank, including office space, an MVR 20,000 (US$1,300) monthly allowance, and a long-term maintenance contract.
The application deadline for the operation of food kiosks at the SME Hub was extended to 25 October.
An initiative of the economic development ministry’s Business Centre Corporation, a three-storey facility is under development at the Allied building in Chaandhanee Magu “for local businesses in all categories to sell their products and services.” The first floor space is dedicated to 16 food and beverage vendors. Applications have also been invited from florists and booksellers.
The Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) incurred losses amounting to MVR1.3 billion (US$64.8 million) over the past five years, according to a special audit of fish exports between 2016 and 2021.
The state-owned company’s MVR7.1 billion cost of operations – purchasing from local fishers and selling to foreign buyers – outstripped its MVR6.9 billion profit in five years. MIFCO’s MVR1.9 billion debt also exceeded the value of its MVR961 million worth of assets.
Issues flagged in the audit included inefficient operations, purchasing above the market price at rates set by the government, and rejection of tuna shipments by import markets for reasons such as poor temperature control or histamine levels.