Economic Development Minister Ahmed Mohamed has claimed in local media that the value of the US Dollar against the Maldivian Rufiyaa is not expected to fall in the “near future”, citing the need for a new long-term financial strategy.
Criticising the previous government’s decision to amend local dollar exchange rates – capped at Rf12.85 until April last year – in an attempt to alleviate black market trading of foreign currency, Ahmed claimed a new approach to foreign investment was needed to alleviate the supply situation.
“After Ramadan, we will announce several new projects. This would be a solution to the dollar problem,” he told local news service Sun Online yesterday.
Ahmed also hit out at the previous government’s decision to discontinue charging import duty to instead impose a General Goods and Services Tax (G-GST). The tax, which was passed by parliament last year rose to six percent from 3.5 percent yesterday while import duties were lowered or eliminated for a range of commodities starting January 1, 2012.
The Tourism Goods and Services Tax (T-GST) was meanwhile raised to six percent for 2012 as stipulated in the GST Act.
Despite Ahmed’s criticisms, two former economic ministers serving within the administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed claimed last month that they were confused by the seemingly contradictory measures of increasing import duties whilst reducing GST.