Sri Lanka can learn from the Maldives: Sunday Times

Fancy sharply pruning down the cost of the president’s office or any government ministry or department for that matter? Maybe we can learn some lessons from the Maldives, a tiny island state which is having a major voice in the global climate change debate, writes the Sunday Times in Sri Lanka.

Young, vibrant, frank and honest, the young Nasheed has enforced some cuts which to most governments would be impossible. Consider this: The President’s Palace (residence) and its 300-strong staff previously cost the government 400 million rufiya (about $30.7 million) to run. The new President has cut it, virtually to the bone, and now the cost of running the residence is 27 million rufiya! How? He has moved to a smaller house and cut staff at the residence to 23.

The island nation of more than 1000 atolls has undertaken a stringent cost cutting exercise to rid the country of extravagant spending and channelling all this valuable money to social spending including a new social insurance scheme. This is happening under the new regime of Mohamed Nasheed who was elected President of the Maldives in November 2008, ending the 30-year reign of Mamoon Abdul Gayoom.

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