MP Mohamed Saeed (Maavah), the Vice President of the opposition People’s National Congress, has said that the estimations made in the State’s proposed budget for next year were “careless” and “irresponsible”.
Speaking at a session of the Majlis today, MP Saeed said that the most astonishing part of the budget proposal for him personally was that all work regarding next year’s budget was happening while President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was abroad, touring the world.
MP Saeed said that the budget had been made irresponsibly, and the work of finalising the budget should be one to which the President must pay close attention, while being fully aware of the nation’s financial state.
MP Saeed said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had already advised the Maldivian government to plan the budget with existing State funds. He also mentioned that heads of the biggest economies around the world have expressed their concern regarding how the global economy would recover from the pandemic. However, said MP Saeed, the Solih administration had taken none of this into account in making the budget. As an example of this, MP Saeed cited the increased number of political appointments.
MP Saeed cited a comment made by President Solih while on the campaign trail in 2018. Solih then had expressed his shock that the Yameen administration had taken on 460 political appointments when the Civil Service already employed technically-qualified people.
MP Saeed pointed out that while the number of political appointments have exceeded 1,000, there seemed to no longer be any concern for technically-qualified employees of the Civil Service.
MP Saeed also expressed his concerns regarding some of the values indicated in the budget. While fishermens’ subsidies has been reduced by MVR 10 million, MVR 17 million had been allocated for “reducing poison gases”. He also mentioned that the spending on people with special needs had also been cut, and the national debt was to increase substantially.