The People’s Majlis approved a government-backed bill to phase out the use of revenue stamps on Monday, with 44 members voting in favor.
The bill contains information on the potential impact on government revenue. The government collected MVR 3.9 million from revenue stamp sales last year, down from MVR 17.5 million in 2019, and had expected MVR 3.7 million for this year, with MVR 547,228 spent on stamp production.
Furthermore, the bill to repeal the Revenue Stamp Act included information on the number of printed stamps, which ranged in price from MVR 0.50 to MVR 100 in 13 different pricing categories. According to the data, around 460,000 stamps are now in stock, with the most printed under the MVR 100 stamp category totaling 111,641 stamps and 92,652 stamps under the MVR 10 stamp category totaling 92,652 stamps.
On 14 April, the bill was introduced in parliament by Majority Leader Ali Azim, MP for Central Henveiru, to repeal the Revenue Stamp Act (4/70), was referred to a parliamentary committee for further consideration.
In proposing the bill on behalf of the government, MP Ali Azim stated that the current revenue stamp system in the Maldives was implemented in 1970. He claimed that it was no longer feasible to run the revenue stamp system as it had been in the past since the revenue generated was insufficient to cover the costs of running the system.
Azim further remarked that the revenue received from revenue stamps came from the many services offered by state institutions across many sectors, and that dissolving the revenue stamp system would increase convenience for businesses in the Maldives.
The bill to abolish revenue stamps is part of the incumbent administration’s Strategic Action Plan to implement a more modern and convenient system that will make conducting business in the Maldives easier.