Maldives on the verge of a government shutdown

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Speaker of Parliament, Former President Mohamed Nasheed | Photo: Avas Online

Malé, Maldives – Mohamed Nashiz, Chair of Public Accounts Committee of Maldives Parliament and MP for Kinbidhoo Constituency has said that without an extension to the overdraft period, the Maldives headed into a government shutdown due to the indecision by the Maldives parliament on 20 April 2021.

MP Nashiz said that a decision has to be made by the parliament regarding the issue by 26 April 2021, 5 days from today, or the Maldives government will go into a shutdown.

Will affect the government’s ability to pay salaries.

MP Nashiz, Chair of Public Accounts Committee of Maldives Parliament

MP Nashiz said that he hopes that it will not get to the point of a government shutdown, saying that an overdraft is needed to make up for the economic instability due to Covid-19. He added that it is unrealistic to expect the government to be able to pay off such a large sum at once.

The request by the government to extend the overdraft period for another year has been kicked out of Parliament citing that no decision was made.

The Maldivian Parliament previously approved the suspension of Article 32 (a)(b)(e) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, ending on 26 April 2021. This would allow for MVR 4.4 billion to be overdrawn from the MMA Public account.

Citing that Maldives has not been able to overcome the negative impact on the economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, on behalf of the state, requested for the extension of this period to 26 April 2022.

Debating on the matter at the parliament yesterday, MP for Vilifsuhi Constituency Hassan Afeef proposed that a special committee be made to investigate the issue, after which a decision should be made. This proposal was supported by MP for Maafannu Medhu Constituency Ibrahim Rasheedh (Bondey).

As no other proposals regarding the Finance Ministry’s request were submitted, a vote was taken on MP Afeef’s proposal. With 48 members out of the attending 60 voting against the proposal, the motion was not passed.

After vote results were announced, Speaker of Parliament and Former President Mohamed Nasheed stated that with this, the request has been kicked out of Parliament as no decision was made.