The Foreign Ministry has spent MVR 22 million on travel expenses in the year 2019.
According to the Foreign Ministry’s Audit Report for the year of 2019 published by the Auditor General’s Office, the ministry had spent MVR 22.8 million on travel expenses alone, which was MVR 17 million more than the approved MVR 5 million for travels.
Since employees of the foreign ministry rarely travel domestically, presumably, these funds were spent on international travel.
In 2019, the Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid alone had taken 19 trips overseas and his tickets had cost MVR 3 million.
When the government came into hot water due to the foreign minister’s extensive travels, the administration stated that the purpose of his trips were to bring in foreign investors. However, there had been no foreign investments brought into Maldives in the year of 2019. Furthermore, while the government estimated to receive MVR 2 billion in foreign aid, they were only able to secure 54 percent of the expected financial assistance.
The annual budget for 2019 allocated MVR 143 million as state travel expenses, however, the government ended up spending over MVR 223 million instead.