Finance Ministry has announced a freeze on hiring new employees and giving new allowances, to combat rising costs due to high energy and goods prices.
A circular issued on Sunday, signed by Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, said that cost cutting measures were needed, in light of rising costs of fuel and other goods in the international market. The circular also said that there could be challenges to managing the earnings and expenditures of the state.
The measures would be in effect from Monday onward and would be applicable to all government agencies. Only local councils were exempted from these measures.
The circular also noted that due to rising interest rates, there would be difficulties to source funding to bridge the gap between state expenses and earnings. Therefore, the circular said that it was imperative that cost cutting measures were implemented as soon as possible.
Finance Ministry had instated a hiring freeze, as well as a stay on changing pay structure and limiting overtime pay. The Ministry had also halted offering new scholarship opportunities. The circular also states that Ministry approval needs to be sought if a training program costs over MVR 5,000 (US$ 324.68).
The circular had also asked to limit travel to only necessary trips and halted all study and training tours. Any internal travel, the circular said, needs prior clearance from the Ministry.
Purchase of any administrative services or goods are also restricted as well. If an expense costs over MVR 5,000 (US$ 324.68) then Finance Ministry’s approval must be sought. The same price restriction also applies to any repair work or PSIP expenditure.