MP for Hoarafushi Constituency Ahmed Saleem has submitted an emergency motion to the parliament today calling on the government to find a viable solution to compensate for the losses incurred by cafes and restaurants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The motion noted that the continuous extension of the State of Public Health Emergency amid the pandemic has left a devastating effect on such business and that most are now on the brink of bankruptcy.
It also noted such business have voiced their concerns and urged the government to find solutions for their grievances.
Speaking at the parliament today, MP Saleem said that most Maldivians have their meals from such establishments and most locals find their means of living from such ventures.
Saleem noted that amid the State of Public Health Emergency, such businesses in the Greater Male' Area mostly have ground to a halt and this would have negative effects on the general economy of the country.
The MP conceded that the COVID-19 pandemic is a dangerous illness but noted that having lived with the pandemic for over a year, it should not be the reason to let many businesses go under.
He said that Health Emergencies are sudden occurrences and that such a pandemic cannot now be labeled as a Health Emergency with neither legal backing and common sense supporting such a label.
The MP went onto say that most restaurant owners are small business owners and that it is not fair that they would have to shut down their businesses while others can flourish even amid a pandemic.
MP Saleem requested the government to ease the restrictive measures taken against such businesses and help them pay their rents on time while also giving them allowances to pay utility bills and GST to the government.
His motion came as Health Protection Agency HPA eased the restrictive measures taken against eating establishments in the Greater Male' Area yesterday by allowing them to operate till 10:30 pm.