Maldives is a country filled with hopes and dreams for visitors and people who view the country from an outside perspective. But for the youth who have very real hopes and dreams - those working towards accomplishing them in the so called concrete jungle of Male area - oftentimes see those hopes and dreams not turned into reality.
Though working in such an upcoming popular destination might feel like it is filled with promise and opportunities, for thousands of Maldivians who have amazing plans, the plans never come to fruition as they are crushed by the system of doing things in the country.
One of the best examples of this would be looking at the tourism industry. Though the country is extremely popular for this exact industry and many Maldivians have started pursuing higher education and careers in the industry, more often than not, the positions that Maldivians are extremely capable of filling up are taken up by foreigners, with higher wages. This, sadly does not just apply to only the tourism industry as this tends to be the case in almost every industry in the Maldives.
Lately, however, this issue has become an extreme concern as Maldivians have started registering small to medium size businesses in their names, while foreigners are the ones running, managing and making a profit out of them. Though the person who is facilitating these businesses run by foreigners surely makes a hefty buck out of being the facilitator, it is also evident that such acts are taking business away from Maldivians, who are equally capable of doing the same thing, if not at a much better level in their own country.
While there are over 22,000 sole proprietor businesses in the Maldives, many of these business ventures are truly owned and run by foreigners in the country, taking away opportunity from Maldivians.
In order to bring some resolution to this increasing issue, a Regulation has been formulated which will see the private businesses operating directly and indirectly for the benefit of foreigners fined by the government. With this regulation being implemented, businesses operating with such intent will see a fine of MVR 100,000. In addition to this hefty fine, the Economic Ministry of the Maldives has also included a clause in this regulation which will not allow the person responsible for the business registration to own a business under their name for five years from the day of the fine.
Additionally, in response to the growing issue of overcrowding in the city area of Maldives, the Economic Ministry has taken steps to impose penalties on businesses that illegally display their products in public spaces. This practice has become increasingly common and further exacerbates the already problematic situation, along with illegal parking, as it obstructs pedestrian walkways, severely impeding the ability of individuals to walk through the Greater Male' area.
While it says public areas, this rule specifically applies to businesses who are obstructing the path in pedestrian walks and in front of other registered businesses, which has started causing major issues for other businesses as well. As a result, those who choose to walk in the streets of Male' face significant difficulties. The fine for businesses carrying out such activities is ranged between MVR 1,000 to MVR 100,000.
With these concerns becoming such a burden on local small to medium-sized businesses as well as other businesses which are losing customers due to the blocked walkways, if the Economic Ministry carried out these measures the Maldivian business owners might finally find some resolution to their increasing concerns.