Government expenses lower than last year

Maldives Monetary Authority tower | Photo: Maldives Independent

Male’, Maldives – The Weekly Fiscal Developments as at 26 November 2020 released by the Ministry of Finance yesterday revealed that the government has spent MVR 600 million less this year than during the same period during 2019.

The report reveals that last year in the same period, government expenditures were at MVR 24.6 billion, with this years expenses being MVR 24 billion.

The government has paid out MVR 8.9 billion in salaries this year, while in 2019, this amount was MVR 9 billion. In addition, administration and operation expenses have reached MVR 7.6 billion in 2020, which is a MVR 700 million decrease from 2019. Recurrent expenses have also decreased, from MVR 18 billion in 2019 to MVR 16.7 billion this year.

However, there is also a significant decrease in revenue – which is completely unsurprising and has been forecasted by the government after COVID-19 halted the country’s tourism industry.

While the original 2020 budget projected MVR 21.7 billion in revenue, only MVR 12.7 billion has been received by the government. MVR 9.7 billion has been received as income from various taxes, with MVR 859.9 Million received in free aid. The remaining income is composed of multiple non-tax revenues and capital receipts.

After amendments from the Parliamentary Budget Committee, the 2021 budget was passed at MVR 34.9 billion, an increase of MVR 134 million from the original budget.

The Parliamentary Budget Committee also increased the forecasted revenue by  MVR 3.2 billion, which has brought down the forecasted budget deficit to  MVR 12.3 billion, from the previously projected MVR 15.5 billion.

The government has introduced several new policies that increases government revenue, and has revealed to secure multiple concessional loans and international aid , hoping to keep the Maldivian economy afloat until tourism numbers can return to pre pandemic standards