Tuesday 21st May 2024
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President Solih

Fact Check: President Ibrahim Deliberately Misrepresented Facts on Foreign Aid and India’s Debt

Former President and opposition MDP Advisor President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been making various false statements about the state of the country during the current parliamentary election campaign. Speaking at a rally in Maafannu on Saturday, President Ibrahim mentioned two important talking points.
The first point he made was that the government is not in financial difficulty because of the debt taken from India. The previous government took the largest amount of aid from India during their administration. Therefore, one of the biggest criticisms of his government was that it had borrowed large amounts of money from India and had not done enough work with the money.
Speaking yesterday, President Ibrahim said the government is facing difficulties because of the debt taken by the previous PPM government from China. India has lent only 8 billion MVR, but the state owes China 18 billion MVR, he said.
President Ibrahim has made these comments while the Exim Bank of India has already granted loans of 22 billion MVR during his tenure alone. The total state debt to India stands at 40 billion MVR.
He made the announcement at the inauguration of the Hanimaadhoo Airport Project on January 18, 2023. Shahid said India has allocated $2.7 billion in aid. Of that, $173.7 million has been allocated as free aid.
"Of the approximately US$2.7 billion in assistance provided by the Government of India, $173.7 million is free assistance. We are implementing various major infrastructure development projects through this assistance," Shahid said.
Shahid's remarks clearly show that India gave $173.7 million of the "aid" without repayment. Shahid's remarks make it clear that the total amount of $2.7 billion received from India, minus the $173.7 million in free aid, is $2.58 billion. 39.8 billion in Maldivian Rufiyaa.
Therefore, the confession of the current MDP President shows that President Ibrahim's remarks on India's debt yesterday are a misrepresentation of the facts.
As a second talking point, President Ibrahim said that the current government does not receive foreign monetary assistance. He also accused the government of not attempting to get help because of its stubbornness.
The truth of the matter is that the government has received 13 percent more money in free aid so far this year than it did in the same period last year. Therefore, the amount of free aid increased in this government.
Former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s claims are clearly proven false, with these points being used as elements for fearmongering among voters in the buildup to the parliamentary election, as MDP seeks to regain the parliamentary supermajority it held for the last five years.