Government delays revisions to budget for third time

The Ministry of Finance and Treasury has delayed submitting revisions to the 2014 state budget for the third time.

On October 30, Minister of Finance and Treasury Abdulla Jihad presented a MVR 16.4 billion budget for 2014 with a projected deficit of 2.5 percent of GDP to parliament.

However, with the inauguration of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on November 16, opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) called for the state budget to be revised to include the Progressive Party of the Maldives’ (PPM) campaign pledges.

Jihad – who was reappointed under President Yameen – asked the People’s Majlis budget committee to allow the government to present a revised budget on November 25. The budget committee has suspended work until a new budget is submitted.

The Finance Ministry then delayed submitting revisions until November 28. The government was unable to meet its own deadline and further delayed submissions to today.

Local media reports the government is facing difficulties in cutting costs and will present revisions on December 5.

Yameen has expressed concern over the economic vulnerability of the Maldives and pledged to reduce state expenditure by MVR 1 billion.

“State debt is sky high. The state budget’s expenses are extremely high. Hence, we have to prioritise reducing state expenditure. I will start work very soon to reduce budget expenses,” Yameen said during his inauguration speech.