President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has departed to Rwanda after the government slapped austerity measures on civil service and public.
President’s Office reported that this trip is a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. He is accompanied by First Lady Fazna Ahmed and a high-level delegation.
This trip comes mere days after the Finance Ministry announced austerity measures, in light of increasing prices and global economic slowdown. On Sunday, Finance Minister Ameer announced the austerity measures.
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.
While the Government had announced austerity measures, it seems that President Solih and senior figures of the administration are exempt from the austerity measures.