Parliament agrees extension of STELCO overdraft guarantee with BML

Parliament has today agreed to extend a government guarantee on a MVR 50 million (US$ 3.2 million) overdraft facility with Bank of Maldives (BML) for the State Electric Company (STELCO) until March 2014, according to local media.

The extension was passed with 31 votes in favour to 17 against, Sun Online has reported.
A total of 48 MPs took part in today’s vote.

The overdraft guarantee, which had originally been approved through parliament in September 2009, had been sent to expire this year.

Despite the extension agreement, STELCO last month revealed that the government owed MVR 543 million (US$35.2 million) in unpaid electricity bills as of May 2013.

According to the company, most of the money (MVR 281 million/US$18.2 million) is owed by assorted government offices. Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) owes MVR 37 million (US$2.4 million) and the National Social Protection Agency (NSPA) owes MVR 224 (US$14.5 million).

STELCO, which is wholly owned by the government, is the country’s sole provider of electricity to major urban centres, such as Male’, and many inhabited islands.