Opposition calls on government to postpone loan payments

Naifaru constituency MP Ahmed Shiyam | Photo: Majlis

Male’, Maldives – The main opposition party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has called on the government to postpone loan payments in relation to the economic downfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy leader of PPM and MP of Naifaru Constituency, Ahmed Shiyam told local media outlet Sun, that the dire global economic situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic remains unchanged and that it continues to have a deep impact on local businesses and jobs.

Shiyam said that that the businesses which have managed to survive are struggling to stay afloat, and are not in a position to repay loans they may have taken out. He then called on the government to arrange loan deferments to struggling businesses.

Shiyam also said that while the Finance Ministry has announced the amount disbursed as income support allowance, it is unclear whether applicants received the allowance after the initial month. He accused the government, specifically the Economic Ministry, of discrimination and wrongdoing in rolling out relief facilities to businesses.

For example, when it comes to the allowances for farmers, no farmer from ADh Atoll which is the top farming region in Maldives was deemed eligible. Only specific people, specific supporters, from a specific region were eligible

Deputy leader of PPM and MP of Naifaru Constituency, Ahmed Shiyam

Shiyam also accused the government of planning to create more political posts as the tourism sector and other businesses continue to struggle to recover, closing income opportunities for a large percentage of people.

187 political posts. What is this? The situation has worsened. The state is increasing its political expenses at a time it needs to cut down political expenses. By adding more staff to embassies and the President’s Office. The revenue hasn’t increased. The tourism situation hasn’t improved. But the state expenses are increasing by adding political posts.

Deputy leader of PPM and MP of Naifaru Constituency, Ahmed Shiyam

The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the economy of Maldives and many have lost their jobs. While statistics by the Ministry of Finance has revealed that MVR 182 Million has been given out as income support allowance to citizens who had their income impacted by Covid-19, statements from Shiyam and the opposition continue to contradict this saying that there is no guarantee that the individuals received income support allowance.