The parliament has approved the Waste Management Bill which force businesses to charge MVR 2 on every plastic bag given to customers.
The bill, proposed by the Member of Parliament for the Komandoo constituency, Mohamed Rashid (Rado), on behalf of the governement, was approved with the consensus of 54 members.
According to the approved bill, four months from ratification of the bill, businesses must levy the fee of MVR 2 from single-use plastic bags issued to every customer and include the purchase in every transaction invoice issued to the customer.
Moreover, violation of the law will impose a fine of MVR 5000 to MVR 50,000 on those individuals or businesses, which will be added to the “Maldives Green Fund”.
The bill is assumed to further contribute to the surge of cost of goods and services. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratified the government-proposed amendment approved by the parliament, to increase Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Tourism Goods and Services Tax (TGST) from 6 percent and 12 percent to 8 percent and 16 percent, respectively, effective January 2023.
While the parliament has approved a hefty budget of MVR 42.6 billion for 2023, as proposed by the government, people have expressed concern and outrage over increasing taxes to accommodate state budget shortcomings.