Opposition calls to review 2021 budget and resubmit to parliament

Eydhafushi constituency MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem | Photo: Avas

Male’, Maldives – Maldivian Parliaments minority leader, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s parliamentary group leader, MP Ahmed Saleem (Redwave Saleem) has called to review the budget proposed by the government for the next year and to resubmit it again.

During the budget debate which started today at parliament, MP Saleem told that ti was not acceptable for the government to submit such a huge budget.

Highlighting that both the Governor of Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) and former Minister of Finance, Ali Hashim and Auditor General Hassan Ziyath’s had raised their concerns over next years budget during the 2021 budget committee meeting, MP Saleem pointed out that former Finance Minister Ali Hashim also did not support the proposed budget.

MP Saleem had told that the peoples financial position was at a very bad place due to the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and that having such huge developmental projects right now was not advisable. He also told that the 2021 budget should be focused more on the economic recovery of the state amidst the Covid-19 pandemics impacts.

Criticizing the governments financial policies, MP Saleem told that the current government was not handling the state finances properly and that the proposed 2021 budget is a clear reflection of it. He pointed out that passing a budget with nearly MVR 20 billion in deficit was not acceptable and that they cannot support it.

“We’re calling the government to revise this budget. Make it to MVR 25 Billion or MVR 24 Billion and bring it back. MVR 20 Billion in deficit is not acceptable, it will impact the livelihoods of the people. Government must understand that this is a time to postpone developmental projects, people would understand” MP Saleem told.

According to the government the proposed MVR 34.8 Billion budget for 2021 is planned and set to be in accordance with the implementation of the “National Resilience and Recover 2020-2022” plan which was made to boost the economy from the fateful consequences of Covid-19.

It is estimated that the government would receive MVR 17.8 billion as revenue and grants in 2021, of which tax revenue constitutes the major item while the estimated budget balance for 2021 is a deficit of MVR 15.5 billion. According to the government the primary balance for this period is a deficit of MVR 12.9 billion and this deficit would be financed through various financial instruments such as bonds, sukuk and treasury bills and by borrowing.