Wednesday 24th Jul 2024
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President Nasheed

Govt attempts to approve MVR 5.8bln supplementary budget unlawfully, Nasheed concnered

Speaker of Parliament and Former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has expressed concerns over the government’s unlawful attempts to approve MVR 5.8 billion supplementary budget for this year.
According to the MVR 42.6 billion budget proposed by the government, the state requires an additional MVR 5.8 billion to balance finances for 2022. It noted that the government requires MVR 5 billion in addition to the MVR 36 billion approved for this year, bringing the total up to MVR 42 billion.
The government reasoned that the need for supplementation arose due to multiple unforeseen expenses; the increase in fuel subsidies outlay, cost surge for developmental projects, teachers salary increments and paying Housing Development Corporation (HDC) for cashflow settlement.
When the government declared intention to raise educators’ salaries, Minister of Finance Ameer Ibrahim was asked how the government planned to fund the increments, he said that the funds were accounted for and had already been budgeted. However, this new statement proves that he had lied.
Speaking regarding the issue, President Nasheed shared on parliament’s official Whatsapp group that Article 96c of the constitution clearly states that state expenses must not exceed the amount approved by the parliament. Additionally, President Nasheed highlighted that the Public Finance Act states that to approve a supplementary budget, it should be drafted in the approved structure and submitted to parliament at least one month prior to the date on which the funds are required.
Therefore, President Nasheed said that although the Minister has expressed the need for a supplementary budget and boldly included it in the budget for 2023, it is implausible that it could be included in next year’s budget.
Furthermore, President Nasheed noted that while the minister called for an MVR 5.8 billion supplementary budget, there is no indication of the amount already expended by the administration without parliamentary approval.
Speaking at the parliament meeting yesterday, Nasheed stated that the government has approved supplementary budgets before.
In addition to the former president, MP for the Vilimale constituency, Ahmed Ushaam expressed his concern over the notion of a supplementary budget, stating that supplementary budget requests have become a trend with this administration as they have asked for one almost every year and that it was completely against the law.
He said that the government has been spending the public’s money illegally, however they wanted and that proposing and approving a budget through parliament is just a formality.