Opposition should be ashamed to talk about debt: Nasheed

Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong (L) with Speaker of the Parliament of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed (R) | Photo: Maldives Independent

Male’, Maldives – Speaker of Parliament, Former President Mohamed Nasheed has said that the current opposition of Maldives should be ashamed to talk about the national debt.

While speaking with local media, Speaker Nasheed said that the citizens know why these debts have been incurred and when they were taken as well. He went on to add that the previous administration had taken large sums in loans and that the assets created with those are not even close to the amounts which had been taken.

“Members of the opposition speaking about national debt with us is the most shameful thing they can do. The results seen while the Maldives incurred debts on scales never seen before is even sadder. They took USD 100 million [loans], but the asset created from it values less than USD 50 million. There’s no business logic as to how we can pay back this loan of USD 100 million through the asset which has been created from the loan. Can’t pay” Speaker Nasheed told.

Speaker Nasheed also told that the opposition members are speaking on podiums about the national debt because the Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption case had not been fully investigated.

He also added that the government would pay back penny by penny to all the lenders but would never pay anything which the government should not. He also told the citizens to wait and see what they do with the loans which had been taken by the previous administration.

“By the grace of God, we will be able to delay these loans. These debts can be postponed, these can be lowered. This is something we have to pay back to some one. We can only pay when we are at a position to pay back. We can’t pay with what we don’t have. No need to even come to get something we don’t have now” Speaker Nasheed added.

According to the statistics publicized by the Finance Ministry showing the debts of the government till June, the current debts of the government amount to MVR 74 billion. This includes internal debts of MVR 36 billion and foreign debts of MVR 37.7 billion as well as assured debts of 16.6 billion.

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.