BML loan under Majlis scrutiny already issued says Finance Minister

Minister of Finance and Treasury Abdulla Jihad today told local media that an Rf300million government loan from the Bank of Maldives (BML) had already been issued, despite questions having been raised over whether the deal needed the Majlis’s approval.

After meeting to discuss the issue on Monday, the Majlis’s Finance Committee elected to pass the matter on to the Counsel General.

Committee member Abdul Ghafoor Moosa told Minivan News “We cannot grant it as it was not in the state budget.”

The loan was said to be a rufiyaa denominated replacement for a US$65million loan which had been approved in the original 2012 state budget.

Jihad told Haveeru that the deal had been rushed through the Finance Committee in May and June, when parliament was in recess.

“I believe that the loan had been sanctioned when the budget was approved,” Jihad told Haveeru.

The Finance Committee’s meetings continue even when the rest of the parliament is in recess.

The reason given for the BML budget support loan was that it was part of a “mop-up” operation intended to help curb inflation, although former Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz doutbed the efficacy of such a policy.