MVR 16 Million has been included in next year’s annual state budget to purchase two cars for the first couple, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed.
In the MVR 42.6 billion budget proposed for next year, a budget of MVR 16.6 million was allotted to execute 241 Committee recommendations under the Maldives National Defense Force. According to the proposal, these funds will be utilized to purchase two automobiles, specifically two Mercedez Benz Maybach model cars, for the use of the first couple.
TMJ has previously shared the letter sent by MNDF, requesting for these cars.
Three quotations were attached with the letter; one from a Srilankan company, one from a Dubai company and one from a German company. The Sri Lankan company had quoted the smallest price, MVR 5.7 million, while the Dubai company quoted MVR 6.2 million and the German company quoted MVR 7.4 million to purchase these cars.
It remains unclear why such expensive vehicles are being purchased for the first couple while the country’s economy struggles against inflation. The car driven by the President is also a recent model car and fairly new. Moreover, Lady Fazna drives one of the most recent Benz model cars registered to Muleeaage.
MDP, as opposition, ridiculed the Maumoon administration when President Maumoon Abdul Qayyoom purchased a Mercedes Benz car. Additionally, during Nasheed’s administration he welcomed the public into Muleeage and allowed them to view their car collection.
Although MDP dubbed it a wasteful and unnecessary expense, President Mohamed Nasheed also used the same vehicles. Furthermore, his administration went of to purchase multiple cars in 2011, feigning the SAARC Summit, against the Public Finance Act.