Economy will take 2 years to fully recover: President Solih

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih giving the presidential address to the nation on the first parliamentary sitting of 2021 | Photo: Presidents Office

Malé, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Has said that judging by the current speed of recovery, the Maldivian economy will take between one to two years to fully recover.

Addressing the Parliament’s inaugural session, President Solih stated that while the economy is projected to make a significant recovery within a year, however, the government is planning various economic activities to reach pre-pandemic levels of economic actives as soon as possible.

President Solih added that the government is working to restarting local tourism and stated that it is their aim is to ensure all of Maldives- from the north to the southernmost atoll, receive benefeits from tourism.

He noted that with the government’s efforts to guarantee tourism income in all regions of Maldives, government has given out land in various islands for tourist hotels and guesthouses. Government has also amended the tourism act to allow separate rooms or villas in resorts to be leased out long term, which the President states is an important change, one that will bring in significant income.

The President also highlighted actions taken by the government and plans to save countless businesses adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He revealed that through the government relief package, SMEs, self employed individuals and large businesses received more than MVR 1 billion in loans. The president clarified that some large businesses received loans so as to protect the jobs of many citizens working at such establishments.

President Solih also highlighted that for land leased for tourism, payment of land rent has been postponed for 6 months.

Many jobs were saved due to various counter measures taken by the government, with numerous SMEs saved from going bankrupt according to President Solih.

Various employees in the tourism sector that did lose their jobs have received more than MVR 221 million under the government’s World Bank funded Income Support Allowance program. This scheme is set to continue into 2021, as the World bank has given additional funding to the program.

The President went on to highlight various recovery efforts and assistances provided to citizens last year and assured that most of these assistances will be provided in 2021.