Resolution submitted to prevent state funds being used to pay PR company

A resolution has been submitted in the People’s Majlis that would prevent state funds being used to pay PR company Ruder Finn for the work it has been doing on behalf of the government, reports Haveeru.

The New York based company has entered into a three month deal with the current government, thought to be worth US$150,000 per month, to “improve the image” of the Maldives.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Ibrahim Rasheed proposed the topic for discussion in parliament, arguing that the budget was could not accommodate this expenditure whilst other programs were being cut or scaled back.

“The government is pressuring private hospitals to give up Aasandha. Budget to renew and restore mosques are penniless. This year’s budget had allocated funds for these activities,” Rasheed is reported to have said.

“The resolution was sent as these projects had been halted and money is being spent upon other activities (to improve the image of Maldives) which have not previously been accommodated in the budget.”

Estimates of this year’s budget deficit have been as high as 27 percent of the country’s GDP with the Finance Minister pledging to cut back on all non-wage government spending by 15 percent.