Dharumavantha Hospital to be ‘sold’ because government is bankrupt: Dr. Jameel

Dharumavantha Hospital | Photo: Mihaaru

Male’, Maldives – Former Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel has said that government is trying to ‘sell’ Dharumavantha Hospital because they are bankrupt.

Jameel, who has previously served as an advisor for opposition  party Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) said that after Ministry of Finance have started efforts to transfer ownership of the building to the Ministry to issue a sukuk (bond).

However, Jameel’s claims are refuted in a statement by the Ministry of Finance, they explained that “Ownership of Dharumavantha Hospital does not leave the Finance Ministry at any point of the sukuk, and during any phase of sukuk issuing, the building cannot be mortgaged ” and stressed that this is in no way, a sale of the building.

The USD 300 Million sukuk is a budgeted revenue stream to bring in much needed cash flow for the government to finance the 2021 budget and is an Islamic Financing Instrument.

The statement revealed that the sukuk, which is to be sold through the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector (ICDC), is an asset based sukuk, which means the issuing government makes a 100 percent Government owned Special Purpose Vessel (SPV) and transfers beneficial ownership of an asset, in this case, Dharumavantha Hospital to the SPV. Then, acting for the sukuk investors, the SPV then leases the asset under an agreement to the issuer; The Ministry of Finance.

Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer previously had asked the president in a letter to request Male’ City council to transfer ownership of Dharumavantha Hospital to the Ministry of Finance, as such bonds can only be issued from Finance Ministry assets.

The Ministry of Finance stated that Islamic debt instruments such as the sukuk are widely used but the global financial market, and that non-Islamic governments have also issued such debt instruments. The statement concluded with a call to stop the spread of misinformation on the matter.