JP calls on government to speed up projects included in PSIP budget

The Jumhooree Party (JP) has called on the government to launch projects included in the public sector investment programme (PSIP) approved with the annual budget passed by parliament.

Following a meeting with Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad, JP MP Abdulla Riyaz told the press that a number of projects for which funds were allocated in the PSIP budget had yet to commence, some of which were planned for constituencies represented by the party’s MPs.

The former police commissioner said the party accepted that the government was facing difficulties managing the budget, assuring the JP’s cooperation for passing a supplementary budget to finance the development projects.

After criticising the government’s flagship special economic zone (SEZ) legislation in parliament, the JP reversed its stance and announced a three-line whip in favor of the bill.

The change in the party’s stance closely followed the government’s cancellation of various business agreements made with the JP leader Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa Group.

Following Gasim’s crucial decision to support President Abdulla Yameen’s 2013 presidential election bid, his party joined the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and its ally Maldivian Development Alliance in contesting the March parliamentary polls as part of the Progressive Coalition.

However, the PPM severed its coalition agreement with the JP in May after Gasim stood for post of Majlis speaker despite the PPM fielding its senior MP Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed.

Following the passage of the SEZ bill, the JP has sought reconciliation, whilst President Yameen has signalled that the government was willing to “work together” with the former coalition partner.