Finance Minister estimates budget deficit will reach MVR6billion

Minister of Finance and Treasury Abdulla Jihad has told parliament’s Finance Committee that this year’s budget deficit can be expected to be double the original estimate of MVR3billion (US$195million), reported Haveeru.

Jihad is said to have explained that the bulk of  the deficit came from unpaid bills left over by the previous government, amounting to MVR2billion (US$130million).

During the committee’s meeting, which continues regardless of the status of the Majlis (currently suspended), Jihad also said that an additional MVR800million (US$52million) had been paid out from this year’s budget.

He said that this year’s revenue is expected to be MVR11.5billion (US$746million), whilst total expenditure is MVR14.6billion (US$948million).

Meanwhile, he reported that state spending this year, MVR9billion (US$590 million), had outstripped earnings by 28percent.

These figures represent an improvement on the Finance Committee’s earlier estimates which, in May, had anticipated a deficit of MVR9.1billion (US$590 million) after meeting with Jihad.

The committee is also reported to have given the go ahead to take out a further US$25million loan from India.