Committee passes budget, recommends constitutional amendment to reduce independent commissions

The People’s Majlis budget committee has passed the record MVR24.3 billion (US$1.5 billion) state budget for 2015 and recommended a constitutional amendment to reduce the number of independent institutions.

The proposal by ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) MP Riyaz Rasheed said that bringing the state’s independent institutions under one body would reduce government expenditure.

The committee did not make any changes to the budget.

The 11 recommendations also included a proposal by Rasheed to amend the Decentralisation Act to reduce the number of local councils and cut salaries of all councilors except the council’s president. All councillors except the council president would be paid an allowance based on their attendance at council meetings.

MPs of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the PPM’s ally Jumhooree Party (JP) did not vote for the two recommendations.

During former President Mohamed Nasheed’s tenure, the PPM leadership – formerly of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) – rejected the MDP’s proposal for councilors to be established in only seven provinces.

DRP MPs at the time insisted on establishing a council in all inhabited islands and an atoll council for each of the 20 atolls.

As per DRP amendments, islands with a population less than 3000 now have five paid councilors, islands with a population between 3000 and 10,000 have seven paid councilors, and islands with a population over 10,000 have nine councilors.

Meanwhile, atolls which consist of two parliamentary constituencies elect three members from each constituency while atolls which have more than three Majlis constituencies elect two members from each constituency. Each Majlis constituency consists of 5000 people.

MDP MPs had walked out in protest from the Majlis sitting, claiming the DRP amendments would create “20 mini governments” and create an enormous financial burden on the state.

The budget committee today also passed a proposal by Rasheed requiring the government to formulate a master plan for population consolidation.

A proposal by the MDP to conduct all government trainings through the Maldives National University was also passed.

The committee also voted in favor of MDP MP Mohamed Aslam’s proposal requiring the government to commence work on establishing a development bank, get back money owed to the government, and to decrease the number of expatriate workers in the tourism sector by increasing the stake of Maldivians.

The Maldives Development Alliance (MDA)’s recommendation to establish a low interest loan scheme for housing and boat building, and the Jumhooree Party (JP) recommendation requiring the government to prioritise projects on constitutionally mandated services also passed.

The MDP had proposed establishing a pay commission to set state wage policy by the end of 2015 and providing a grace period of two to three years for new taxes, but the PPM dominated committee rejected these proposals.

The committee also rejected MDP proposals requiring deference to the Fiscal Responsibility Act and Public Finance Act in budget implementation.

The budget will now be forwarded to the Majlis floor for final review.

Related to this story

Finance minister presents record MVR24.3 billion state budget to parliament

MDP criticises proposed 2015 state budget as “aimless”

Government proposes changes to local government model

Decentralisation bill passed as MDP MPs walk out

Vice President calls for “population consolidation”


11 thoughts on “Committee passes budget, recommends constitutional amendment to reduce independent commissions”

  1. After amending the constitution parliament was establishing independent Commissions. Now they are going to reduce it. Have they incorporated any research to their conclusions? why do we need or why do we do not need any independent commission so far they have established?

  2. @Naeem: It's very simple; they can't go back to the 90's spree of open theft from the people with independent commissions able to track their transactions.

    Ms. Rozeyna only scratched the surface of their depravity when she exposed certain transaction details;- the PPM and their secret police today require large amounts of spending on pleasure trips to the red light district of the world and they can't have that exposed no matter what.

  3. "MP Riyaz Rasheed said that bringing the state’s independent institutions under one body would reduce government expenditure."

    Does the idiot know when he falls over a contradiction? "independent" institutions are "one body"? Enlighten us, Mr genius!

  4. Even in US, they don't have this much of "independent bodies " .

    There are rooms to reduce num of independence commission and may be not all but keep the main one and then empower those key commission to execute the job.

    Same goes with the Mps, we have to reduce the total no of Mp in the parliament to maximum 25 and then hen saving will be very significant .

    Having 84 mp in a population of 380k is a joke.

  5. Wasn't it PPM that jumped up and down ranting and raving that the constitution couldn't be changed when MDP were in power whenever they attempted to amend policies?

  6. Ah, now you're okay with following America, mr. Hero?

    How quickly you change your ideals when someone offers you some cash. 😛

    You can try and hide - even when America has few independent commissions to check and balance institutions, heroes like Edward Snowden will rise and cause EVEN MORE damage to you.

    We are at war. You are an illegal occupation. We will win our independence.

  7. @Maldivian.
    You and lousy Nahseed thugs can keep on jumping up and down.

    People of Maldives do not want drug addicts like like you and Nasheed to be our leader ever.

  8. @Hero: You're so brainwashed, that you see anyone who resists your imperialist exploitation as 'Nasheed thugs'.

    Some news for you: I'm not an MDP member - and I disagree with him since he's too much of a softy on criminals like you.

    Your best chance of surviving is if you try and keep him alive. He'll probably be hithiri and forgive you.

    Because we, the people of Maldives, will not forgive you.

  9. The current government are a bunch of tyrants and crooks, and nasheed was a western pawn pushing their way of life on a conservative society.

    Maldives is really inbetween a rock and a hard place


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