Public Accounts Committee “destroying” economy: DRP MP

An amendment proposed by minority opposition People’s Alliance (PA) MP Ahmed Nazim to the Pension Act of 2009 allowing MPs to opt out of the retirement pension scheme is intended to “destroy the economy”, opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Abdullah Abdul Raheem claimed at parliament yesterday.

“At a juncture when the country is facing an economic tsunami and we’re trying to save ourselves [from it] this amendment has been proposed here today, by those in the Public Accounts Committee who know very well what the economy is, with the intention of destroying the economy,” said Abdul Raheem (pg 83).

Raheem added that MPs’ participation was needed to ensure the success of the fledgling pension system.

Deputy Speaker Nazim’s amendment, backed by most MPs of the ruling and opposition parties, would also allow the President, Vice-President and Justices of the Supreme Court to opt out of the retirement pension scheme.

Concluding the debate, Nazim, who also chairs the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), revealed that 34,000 government employees had already joined the pension scheme while an additional 25,000 private sector employees had submitted applications.

Nazim argued that exempting 86 persons would not affect the success of the scheme. The amendment will be put to a vote at the next sitting on Monday.