Member of Parliament for the Eydhafushi constituency and well rounded businessman, Ahmed Saleem (Redwave Saleem) slammed members of parliament who argued against the causation of increased cost of goods due to increased Goods and Services Tax (GST).
MP Saleem retorted that only the people in the business may know the negative impact of GST on the cost of goods.
Debating the 19th Parliament Budget Committee appraisal report on the proposed budget for 2023, MP Saleem questioned which research and reference materials had been employed by the committee to formulate inflation percentages so precisely.
Saleem asserted that the people who sold the goods would know best the percentage or even the amounts by which the cost of goods will increase. Proclaiming himself as the cheapest seller of goods, Saleem noted that he was extremely aware of the cost changes from one shipment to another.
Contextualizing the reality of the people’s financial situation Saleem added that business slows down after the 10th of each month as money becomes scarce within households. Moreover, the people are then forced to open tabs and borrow from corner shops to make ends meet. He stated that before this, the people struggled with money shortages after the 20th or 25th of each month.
Saleem noted that our Srilankan neighbors had not declared bankruptcy for lack of domestic currency, but because their USD reserves ran dry. Furthermore, in response to the government loyalist MPs’ usage of European debt statistics to justify our USD reserves, Saleem countered that these countries have massive national reserves in comparison to Maldives. He stated that the people had no knowledge of whether or not the national reserves held USD at this point.
Further criticizing the President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration, Saleem stated that the government has done nothing to generate revenue other than collecting more taxes from the people.
Saleem said that the administration’s incompetence delayed the completion of a one year project of the airport terminal development. He added that the government failed to provide pieces of land for storage of goods to businesses in K. Thilafushi, either.