The government has spent MVR 4.2 million on travelling so far this year.
According to statistics published by the Ministry of Finance, the government has spent MVR 4.2 million on travel and related expenses between 1 January 2021 and 28 January 2021. This amounts to almost MVR 1 million a week.
The government had spent comparatively more, MVR 12.6 million, in the first month of 2020.
The government had allocated roughly MVR 172.3 million in the annual budget for travel.
While President Solih has only left the country once since the start of 2021; the Minister of Tourism, Dr Abdullah Mausoom, and the Vice President, have also travelled abroad. The Minister of Defence, Mariya Didi, is currently in India.
The government had spent a total of MVR 141.3 million on travel in 2020 between 1 January and 31 December 2020, according to the Ministry of Finance. The budget allocated for travel in 2020 had been MVR 237.8 million. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, much of the travel budget had not been utilized.
The annual budget for 2021 shows that MVR 35 million has been set aside for domestic sea-travel, MVR 7.1 million for domestic land-travel, and MVR 37.9 million for domestic air-travel. In addition, the budget has set aside MVR 50.3 million for international travel. MVR 6.2 million has been set aside for other travel-related expenses.
President Solih had cost the State roughly MVR 16.4 million alone for his own travelling. Many have criticised him for this, especially in light of the fact that he had expressed his fondness for travel during an interview he gave as a presidential candidate in 2018.