The Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) will re-direct a percentage of the revenue collected collected for the state to councils, President Mohamed Muizzu said on Thursday while addressing residents of Keyodhoo Island in Vaavu (V.) Atoll.

Muizzu said he would amend the Tax Administration Act of 2010 to ensure that each council receives a certain percentage of the revenue collected for the state by MIRA.

“Then, hopefully, the expenditures of the councils in serving the people from the annual budget will be eased and things will be facilitated through the revenue received directly from the councils,” he said.

The president also added that he intends to amend the Decentralisation Act of 2010 and the Tourism Act of 1999 to redirect a percentage of the Tourism Goods and Services Tax (TGST) collected from local tourism towards council revenue.

“This can be achieved through the administration’s legislative agenda, which will be pursued through the Parliament,” he said, highlighting that the administration would need parliamentary cooperation to push the amendments through and make them law.

“The people have a very good opportunity. The opportunity to elect a parliament that will cooperate with the administration in such matters. I wish you to make good use of this opportunity,” he said.

The president’s remarks come at a time when he has faced sharp criticism from his opponents and observers alike for utilising his official visits to the atolls for campaigning, particularly as the country prepares for the parliamentary elections in April. The President’s Office, however, dismissed what it referred to as unfounded rumours suggesting that the president was engaging in party political activities during his official visits.