Member of Parliament for the Kendhoo constituency Ali Hussain stated that the government has collateralized the independence of the Maldivian nation to borrow money from foreign countries.
Tweeting regarding the USD 100 million loan acquired from India, Ali Hussain criticized the financial decisions of the government, stating that the government borrows to repay their debt and to repay those debts, they sold treasury bills. He added that to settle those t-bill investments, the government takes more debt.
Ali Hussain concluded that the government had collateralized Maldivian independence to finance this cycle of debt.
According to the financial statistics revealed by the Ministry of Finance, the government estimated the total debt at MVR 105.7 billion, by the end of 2022, which is MVR 93.3 billion in direct loans, MVR 12.4 billion in guaranteed financing. While MVR 57.9 billion is internally acquired loans, the rest of the MVR 35.4 billion is externally acquired debt.
Corresponding to the findings of the most recent census, Maldives has a registered population of 397,372 and going on the premise that the total national debt is accurate per the government estimate, each individual will owe a debt of MVR 266,075 by the end of 2022. This is the highest amount owed per capita.
Additionally, the government has estimated that the national debt will increase up to MVR 113.7 billion by the end of 2023.
The public debt has drastically increased since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih came into office. President Solih’s administration has accumulated over MVR 50 billion within four years. The public debt was at MVR 48 billion when President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom concluded his term as president. This was including the debt acquired by all the previous governments.
In reference to the numbers shared by the ministry, President Solih will be responsible for MVR 65 billion of the national debt. No other administration has seen such a steep incline in public debt in Maldivian history.
Despite the national debt, the government has continued to borrow additional funds from India. India agreed to give a grant of USD 1 billion to the Maldives in exchange for permission to build an Indian military base in Maldives, during President Solih’s first official presidential visit to India. Even local media reported on the news.
The government had later signed an agreement to establish an Indian military base at north Thila Falhu island near Male’ city. Furthermore, Indian military personnel have been spotted at various locations all over the country.