Controversial salary amendments not yet approved, say MPs

MPs “have not taken pay increases”, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim has said, despite the Rf20,000 wage hikes for MPs included in the 2011 state budget approved yesterday.

Deputy Speaker Nazim said the proposed wage hikes must receive additional approval by the Majlis before they can take effect.

Despite “cross party support” for budgetary amendments allowing additional MP privileges like salary increases, he said, no wage hikes have actually been approved. Nazim anticipates that the proposals, considered a possible means of improving parliament’s “productivity”, would come under review in March after the recess.

The claims were made at the first session of the Mjalis since it passed the 2011 state budget. It opened to chants of “We need cash” from protesters gathered near the parliament building, angry over the salary amendments passed as part of a budget said to be aimed at cost-cutting.

However, acting Finance Minister Mahmood Razee said he believed the budget had been passed relatively well. He added that any amendments such as those suggested for MPs’ salaries – passed yesterday by a majority of members – would still ultimately require presidential approval.

In addition, the acting Finance Minister said, all amendments would ideally fulfil the commitment to keep the budget at about Rf12.37bn for the year ahead.

These commitments are also focused on trying to ensure a budget deficit of around 16 per cent, which has been sought in an attempt to appease institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which suspended finance to the country earlier this year over concerns about it living beyond its means.

However, Nazim, who also serves as Deputy Leader of the opposition People’s Alliance (PA) party, rebuked the optimism shown by the acting finance Minister. He added that concerns remained among some “opposition and independent MPs” over a lack of detail in the budget, such as in the funding of enterprises like the Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC).

Addressing the topic of MPs salaries outlined under amendments to parliamentary privileges, Nazim claimed  the salaries were not solely a “money issue”, but were also part of an attempt to test methods for improved “productivity” among the Majlis.

“The amendments were not to do with spending cuts, the salary structures have been amended as part of measures to increase productivity among members, which will be reviewed by parliament’s Public Accounts Committee,” he said. “The figure of Rf20,000 is an upper ceiling level that parliament will look to see whether it can be increased, it doesn’t mean anything has been passed.”

“We are not taking a pay rise,” Nazim added.

In looking at the wider budget, Nazim stressed that there remained concerns among some MPs over a number of proposed amendments to the budget, such as those concerning MNBC, that had been dismissed by Parliamentary speaker Abdullah Shahid as “not in the budget”.

Citing the 2010 budget that he claimed had not outlined funding for the MNBC, Nazim said  the government still provided a total of Rf54m for monthly salaries to the broadcaster, which had not been accounted for once again in the latest state finances.

The Deputy Speaker also noted that the state-owned Maldives National Shipping Limited, which  had required Rf84 million from the government’s contingency budget in 2009 had also required another Rf48 million so far this year.

In light of the recent privatisation agreement with Indian infrastructure group GMR to manage Male’ International Airport, Nazim asked why the government had “not sold off” the shipping enterprise to aid finances.

“The government refused to give this contingency budget out before it was brought to the Majlis,” he said. “They have not cooperated with parliament. Though there have been improvements since the acting [Finance] Minister came in, we still believe there has been systematic abuse of the system.”

From a government perspective, Acting Finance Minister Razee claimed that he believed budget discussions had “actually gone quite well”.

He said the approved budget was within the Rf12.37bn first projected earlier this month, but amendments would require it to “take some funds from existing programmes” so they could be invested elsewhere.

Razee said he remained hopeful that the funding would not significantly impact the proposed target for an annual budget deficit of 16 per cent.

However, he conceded that possible amendments to programmes within the budget could yet “be more significant” in terms of their financial impact than anticipated.

When asked if passing proposed amendments to parliamentary privileges such as increased wages for MPs was a failure for a budget aimed at cost reduction, Razee said that the proposals were not part of the government’s original plan.

“These [privileges] were amendments to existing bills,” he said. “Obviously, these amendments that have been provided would have to be approved by the president, who would decide if there was enough revenue to support such an increase.”

Razee added that he did not have the figures on the exact numbers of MPs and party members who had voted to approve the amendments that included the privileges, though he confirmed they “had been passed by the majority”.

“I can’t say why people voted for it, the amendments had included allowances to independent institutions so perhaps they were confused,” he claimed.


43 thoughts on “Controversial salary amendments not yet approved, say MPs”

  1. Improving productivity - really? So give them more money hoping they will be stop jumping on the tables, boycotting the sessions, walking out when they cannot handle their emotions, stop abusive language when they cannot get what they want. Any more ridiculous attempts as these. Why stop at 20,000. Give them more and hope people like Moosa Manik will stop his business and his corruptible impulses or MPs who have business interest on the other side of the weighing scale - each decision made on what they can gain or lose. Give them more and hope people like Muthalib will stand up for human rights. Maybe they will start dealing with real issues. Besides why should the people complain having voted these Mps in, in the first place. Feels like they have just bitten off their tongues. The voters are just as bad as their MPs cos they sold their souls with the vote.

  2. Good. Take what you can when you can.

    Maldivians voted for these cut-throat con-artists into the parliament. We should taste the bitterness of our own actions.

  3. Let this be a lesson to you. I hear, know and see everything. And by I, i of course mean we the people.

  4. "Nazim claimed that the salaries were not solely a “money issue”, but instead, part of an attempt to test methods for improved “productivity” among the Majlis."

    If MPs cannot improve their "productivity" on their existing fat salaries and allowances, they should resign and go somewhere else!

    How can the salaries not be a "money issue"? Are the salaries being paid in tuna?

  5. I agree with Ahmed bin

    Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb on Fri, 31st Dec 2010 1:32 AM

    “Nazim claimed that the salaries were not solely a “money issue”, but instead, part of an attempt to test methods for improved “productivity” among the Majlis.”

    If MPs cannot improve their “productivity” on their existing fat salaries and allowances, they should resign and go somewhere else!

    How can the salaries not be a “money issue”? Are the salaries being paid in tuna?

  6. this is just great!now we have bring down 77 more dictators.

    and mr.nazim i agree with you on that.... this really aint a 'money issue'. this is a 'failed majlis' issue.this is a 'majlis vote market issue'. this is a 'where are our legislations' issue. this is a 'national issue'. so, dont try to make it look like a non-issue. this is THE issue. a failed parliament who cant do the work we pay em to do!

  7. i think they're already very productive. productive at buying votes, at pocketing fat salaries and cheating their constituents. they should be paid 1 billion rufiyaa a month plus samosa and boakibaa for every committee meeting.

  8. Why can't we address the issue of dollar shortage which I believe will have more impact to the existing ailing Maldivan economy.

  9. Look at how MP Ali Waheed is going to increase his "productivity"! He has already promised to disapproving the new Home Minister.

    ROTFLMAO!!! Ali Waheed is crying like a baby, because the Home Minister didn't send guns and tanks to stop the people showing their disapproval at these Most Disreputable Members of Parliament!


  10. And, yes I have news for Mr Ali Waheed. We, the people, elected you to your seat in Parliament and we have every right to confront you whenever we like!

    We have the right to question your actions and in-action in Parliament. It's a well known fact, the louder one's mouth, the smaller the brain power.

  11. We also have to think of the rising onion price it's a whopping Rf50 per kg.who is responsible? Executive, judiciary or parliament...I don't know maybe INDIA

  12. why are u guys hating majlis?? it bcos mdp is NOT having the majority????? matter how hard u guys scream/dream mdp will never get the majority .. remember, u guys are only 24% of our voting population..pakaaaaas

  13. "to increase productivity" huh that means now they cheating to the people and the parliament. Pass a bill to punish those cowards..

  14. This is what you will get when you vote and elect 5th graders like Reeko Moosa and Matrix mode to parliament. How on earth you expect them to write laws.

  15. Dear MPs,

    How about you 'improve productivity' of the parliament by vacating your seats, and allowing your sorry selves to replaced by some others who might actually be interested in getting things done?

    So far, this Majlis has been a sharp disgrace, and this last action has been despicable and absolutely out-of-touch with public sentiment.

  16. Wow. and its funny all these idiots jump in same ship when it comes to their salaries. But if its an issue which is related to the public they start aruguing, swearing, getting personal, walk outs...We elected U. U are our Servants!. We will have a say at ur Pay. Dont think we are idiots.!!!

  17. there is no need to pick on nazim alone on this...even though he appears to be at the front of this as he is the head of public accounts committee, we have to see who and who voted to approve this. then only we can see who thinks like nazim or even worse, discussed these ideas with him in the first place. THESE GREEDY SELFISH TYRANTS, WHETHER MDP, DRP, PA, IDP OR WHATEVEROTHERP SHOULD NEVER BE VOTED TO ANYTHING EVER AGAIN!

    NEVER AGAIN!!!! >:(

  18. @ Muulah yaamyn

    "How about you ‘improve productivity’ of the parliament by vacating your seats, and allowing your sorry selves to replaced by some others who might actually be interested in getting things done?"

    Do you want the Majlis seats to be filled with those who follow the religion of SECULARISM, so that you being the chief rabbi of Secularism could give them secular fatwas on how to erase Islam from Maldives and delete the word Islam from our Constitution?? Heh!

  19. Isn't a 'money issue'? And what is this additional Rf 20,000? Dog food? Oh yes, thats what you'd use to buy the car (without import duty) and pay for the medical of your family!

    Nazim, go fly a kite!

  20. Their milk is stolen by the pigs, who learn to milk them, and is stirred into the pigs' mash every day while the other animals are not given any such luxuries.=Geroge Owell=

  21. latest news is a tycoon bought 3 mps for the money he got from an international bank 20 million dollars. the ones bought thought this crisis is a nice opportunity to bluff the poeple and make a trade to antoher party. so watch the ones that transfer from other parties to tycoons party. the tycoon is biggest briber in the histroy of maldives.

  22. Is the write off of the import duty for cars imported by MPs also to improve productivity? Would the productivity of the whole country be improved with the addition of 77 more cars to the already congested streets of Male'?

    I want to know how it is not corruption when the import duty of any good is written off by themselves. I hope the ACC looks into this case of corruption and punish all the MPs who voted for this!

  23. Not Only Salaries & Allowances ... MEdicals from Bumrungrad , Mount Elizabath .. But for us from India Trivandrum.

    Pensions in 5 years .
    Duty Free Cars

  24. “I can’t say why people voted for it, the amendments had included allowances to independent institutions so perhaps they were confused,”Mr. Ahmed Nazim
    M**** P******* J.
    Yea.. What to say increasing the remunerations to MP's and the HEADS of independent institutions.
    Anti corruption - as for now most of the MP's are corrupted, and their related cases will be halt or vaporize.
    Judiciary- now there are bundles of papers related to those M p's.Most of the judges are still unqualified and corrupted guys, So....
    REMEMBER that he told pay increases to the HEADS not the lower category . This HOW THE CORRUPTION ROOTED IN THIS Country.
    Ask Mr, J****ya How many women dose he is married and how many official and un official kids do he have? God knows everything. Have to answer one day.

  25. @heck
    You make sense there. Secularism means MP's will have one less thing to uselessly debate about: religion. Without spending hours on thafseer and hadhith quotations the fools can maybe get some work done. One more thing, you cannot force your version of belief on athiest/secular Maldivians. Cry as much as you want.

  26. My view is that our MP's should have a good salary like the President and the Chief Justice and even a CAR. Why not? MP's should be able to SHRUG OFF the bribes that are offered to them by Secularists and Atheists to change the Constitution to allow religious freedom in Maldives. Even though we can't guarantee that such bribery will not take place, accepting highly paid MP's by the State, it is one way in which we could exonerate ourselves from the possible crimes of MP's who might come up with an excuse of low pay for putting on sale their righteousness and loyalty towards the nation.

    We must bear in mind that there are hungry Secularist and Atheist wolves out there ready to gobble a small nation like the Maldives. It's more a reality than a paranoia. Eye-from-Zion is a living example.

  27. What baffles me most is that people like "anti" and some media are trying to make this look like a MDP propaganda.. This is not a party issue; its a National issue!

    The question that should be asked isn't, why were most of the protesters MDP activists;the question should be, why weren't the other parties more involved in this issue.. Don't let your party conflicts stop you from attending to your responsibilities as a Citizen of Maldives.

  28. i say we cut of these b#$%$#@s heads! all single one of them. on yea and maumoon, yaamin, abudulla shahid iliyaz, abbas shaugee ibrahim hussain zaki and all other b#$%#&*#s who has stolen money from maldives.

  29. We do not really care if MDP or any other party is in control of Majlis as long as they are not corrupt and greed flowing through their blood - Greed for money.

    I agree with Ahmed who commented:

    "Good. Take what you can when you can.

    Maldivians voted for these cut-throat con-artists into the parliament. We should taste the bitterness of our own actions."

    No matter which party anyone supports, it is our own actions which gave these corrupt figures such high status. They think they are great, that the people who actually voted for them are not as high class as they are. Why should they get richer, while the people who voted for them are struggling through life?

  30. @heck
    Absolutely correct. But bear in mind that there's no public money to pay millions to the honorable MP's. For their little cars and other luxuries.

    Maybe the Mullahs/symphatizers can ask their masters in Saudi Arabia to fund MP salaries/desires, the only way to defend Islamic faith against the evil of secularism. The extra monies will also help the MP's visit srilanka more than once a week for their doze of non-alcoholic beer and harem visits. Inshaa-Allah.

  31. @heck
    "We must bear in mind that there are hungry Secularist and Atheist wolves out there ready to gobble a small nation like the Maldives."

    Always angling at the Secularists eh? Never fear though. The small nation will smash themselves up quite nicely without any intervention from a single secularist or atheist. With more than 50% of the youth on hard drugs, you don't need atheists or secularists to nuke your society!

  32. @ shuhadh

    "Secularism means MP’s will have one less thing to uselessly debate about: religion."


    In effect what you will get is the debate diverted from Islam to some other religion, most probably the tafseer of Atheists/Secularists and reverence of their demigods. So looks like you want to opt for a religion with the easiest departure away from morality.

  33. @ Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb

    "With more than 50% of the youth on hard drugs, you don’t need atheists or secularists to nuke your society!"

    You are a bit old fashioned. The latest trend is that you don't have to remain sane 24 hours round the clock. Ganja will do the trick! Follow your the leader, will you?

  34. heck, how long is your beard? why do you have the compulsion to bring up religion and secularism everywhere? do you still live in a bubble believing that Maldives is a 100% muslim nation?

  35. Salary amendments not yet approved, say MPs. How can a topic like this be raised in the parliament when the condition of this country is at its darkest hours. I'm not surprise at all, however we must stop this act. What the hell are they comparing things with America. Underdevelopment has taken its turns and its time for the people of this nation to be a parliamentarian and shut the doors of the greed.

    Make his fight on the hill in the early day
    Constant chill deep inside
    Shouting gun, on they run through the endless gray
    On they fight, for they are right, yes, but who's to say?
    For a hill, men would kill. Why? They do not know
    Stiffend wounds test their pride
    Men of five, still alive through the raging glow
    Gone insane from the pain that they surely know

    For whom the bell tolls
    Time marches on
    For whom the bell tolls

  36. this aint a religous debate matter men. its all the problam of maldib majilis officials. the become the first people to do that nd think they wield the hammer of the gods. if i am the presidont on the future, i will going to behead and the castrated the peopal who act in this way. they are all manchild and wemenchild.

    now tell me my english suk


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