MP Eva sends letter to Finance Minister seeking IMF report copy

Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla | Photo: Majlis

Malé, Maldives – Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Eva Abdulla has requested for a copy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on Maldives’s economic development objectives and economic situation.

MP Eva, in a letter to Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, said that the IMF had identified “sustained fiscal consolidation” as a “top priority” as the level of public debt has increased to a worrying level.

In the letter MP Eva said in a press release issued by IMF on December 20, 2022, stated that a team of IMF technical staff visited Maldives and prepared a report on the country’s economic growth and financial information after consulting with the relevant authorities.

The Maldives remains at a high risk of external debt distress and a high overall risk of debt distress….External financing needs are projected to rise and draw on the already thin reserve buffers, increasing debt rollover risks. Dollar shortages have persisted, as reflected in large spreads in the parallel foreign exchange market.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Eva’s letter said that after 2020, the IMF will not publish its reports on Maldives under Article IV. Therefore, she has requested that a copy of the report be made available.

“Please make available a copy of the IMF’s press release on Maldives under Article IV as it provides the most detailed understanding of the IMF’s views on the government’s objectives regarding the economic and financial situation in Maldives,” her letter read.

According to IMF, the economic recovery is expected to continue in the near term on the back of strong tourism growth and associated spillovers to related sectors such as transportation and trade. IMF projects GDP grow at 10.5 percent and 6.6 percent in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Inflation is projected to increase further, reaching 4.9 percent in 2023, reflecting the persistence of high costs of energy and food, spending pressures for the 2023 elections, and the one-off impact of the planned goods and services tax hikes in 2023.

Noting that Maldives is at a high risk of debt distress, IMF directors stressed that sustained fiscal consolidation relying on both expenditure rationalization and domestic revenue mobilization, and supported by conservative debt management, is the top priority.