Q&A: Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz

Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz was approved by parliament in late April 2011, replacing Ali Hashim who was among President Mohamed Nasheed’s cabinet ministers to be ousted by the opposition-majority parliament. He was approved just as the government implemented a managed float of the rufiya, and spoke to Minivan News about the recent and rapid changes to the country’s economy, the challenges it is facing and the future outlook.

JJ Robinson: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission is in town following the conclusion of the Article IV consultation last year. What is the current status of the government’s involvement with the IMF?

Ahmed Inaz: The IMF is discussing a new three program [with the government]. We are talking about structural adjustments that need to be brought in, and on the revenue side we are agreeing measures we foresee need to take in the next two years. We are trying to agree on the policy side.

They have their suggestions and recommendations and we have the policies the President is proposing, and we are trying to come a common agreement hopefully by the start of next week. I’m hopeful we will re-enter the program.

JJR: The IMF delayed the third tranche of funding in November last year citing “significant policy slippages” on behalf of the government. Did the third tranche get delivered?

AI: The question is not about that, the question is what can be practically done in this country. The new government came in with a new democratic setup, but not the budget to support that. The budget didn’t carry the cost of the new reforms.

It is not a matter of whether we can cut down expenditure – yes there are fat layers in the country, not only in the civil service, also in the judiciary and independent institutions. But the fundamental issue is that because of the democratic transition we have a state with recurrent expenditure higher than its revenue.

To make matters worse, the salaries of the state payroll are higher than our income. You can see where the problem lies.

What we foresee is that there are two ways in which we have to work to rectify this issue.

One is to trim the fat layer, by matching outputs with staff and increasing productivity.

The other thing is by increasing our revenue. We need to move from the current inefficient way of raising revenue – which bases revenue on import duties – to a more direct taxation policy.

We currently have the import duty which is a burden for businessmen, because they are taxed before they sell. We will abolish most duties, apart from those on items that are environmentally damaging, those that affect health, and other discouraged items.

The rest will be abolished and we will move into a direct taxation policy when the business profit tax starts in July. We have also started collecting revenue from a Tourism Goods and Services Tax (TGST), and we propose that we increase this as well as introducing a general GST for the public, and an income tax.

This would not be a payroll tax. It would be an income tax on people earning above Rf 30,000 (US$2300) per month. We think this is more justifiable.

Some may feel that this will collect only a very small amount of revenue – but this not just revenue from employment, but income from business dividends, house sales and so forth.

JJR: The former auditor general reported difficultly getting people to declare assets. Is this difficult with high net-worth individuals in the Maldives?

AI: One thing you have to understand is that this is a path other countries have walked. I remember when I was doing my graduate studies, even then we were talking about this. It was something the educated intellects were advocating. It never happened because there was no political willingness – willingness we now have.

I believe that once we start we will sort the rest of the issues. The TSGT is already being taken from big resorts as well as small guest houses on remote islands – very small businesses. They declare – amazingly, they declare.

I think this is something the country can take, and then we can move to rectify problems and perfect the system.

JJR: The general popularity of the idea seems quite sour with members of the opposition. How do you propose getting this tax through the opposition-majority parliament?

AI: All the businessmen I have met – all the reasonable businessmen I have met – believe that the country has to move to a much more structured, predictable and more coherent system of governance. And to do that we need an economic system that supports social change, and supports the change we have brought politically.

To sustain their businesses it is important that they have social and political stability. It would be a grave mistake if one stands up and says they don’t support [income tax], because that will bring instability to the country and harm businesses.

The other thing is that once you have a system of redistributing wealth through direct tax, such as we are proposing, this is spent on infrastructure, welfare, education, transport – all of these things that directly benefit wealthy businessmen, because they don’t have to pay for it on an individual basis. So the cost of doing business will be lowered.

I believe MPs, businessmen and business-MPs will support this. Those I have met have given their full support – they just want to be consulted first.

JJR: Don’t you think that as a potentially populist issue this may become a victim of the country’s adversarial politics?

AI: I think the opposition is very mature. When we were in the opposition, then the opposition was very mature. I think they will choose the best for the country. We are doing the tough job here – by 2013 the game will be easier. We are laying the foundation for the country, not only by changing the political scenario but bringing huge economic changes. I think they will support it.

JJR: Back to the IMF. A theme in their reports last year – and also those of the World Bank – was that while the Maldives’ income might be increased gradually, the country’s immediate problem was the inflated state budget, leading to a high deficit, while the country was at the same time insisting on a pegged currency. The government’s attempt to introduce cuts last year were scuttled – in your mind what were the reasons for this?

AI: One thing was that the business profit tax was delayed in parliament – for reasons I don’t think I have to elaborate. The TGST we proposed was higher than what are getting now, and that has also had an impact on us.

Also we have to remember that the redundancy of the civil service is not an easy thing – the country’s employment has been totally dependent on the government. It is a very big change, and we have said we want the government to be a policy maker, a regulator, but not doing business, so jobs are created in the private sector.

I’m happy to say our redundancy program – with assistance from the Asia Development Bank (ADB) – has to this date enrolled 800 people and already some of them have already been paid and moved out of the civil service. We hope over the next few weeks we will achieve our target of 1300 – the idea is that they will retrained and not return to the government for at least three years.

JJR: A key criticism of the government’s economic policy from the opposition is its spending on political appointees.

AI: Out of total government expenditure, 75 percent is paying the payroll. The political appointees are three percent of that payroll.

I believe that any appointee, whether political, civil service or judicial – any unproductive appointee – is a burden on our system and we should make them redundant.

JJR: Enmity between the Finance Ministry and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) last year led to the ministry filing charges with police against the CSC, just as the cuts issue entered the court system. What is the relationship like now between the Ministry and the CSC?

AI: We are working very closely with them and they have been very cooperative on the redundancy issue.

JJR: A number of private sector businesses have expressed concern that while the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA)’s decision to enforce the use of the rufiya for all transactions is fine when you have a freely-convertable currency, it presents a serious problem when the banks refuse to sell dollars to them.

AI: The government doesn’t print dollars, and the government doesn’t earn dollars, except for fees and taxes, which is a very small percentage of the total demand for dollars in the country. The dollars are earned primarily by the resorts and fish exporters.

What we want is a system where the foreign exchange system operates as a market. We have introduced a banded float [within 20 percent of the pegged Rf12.85 to the dollar]. What we want is that the dollar earners will sell this to the market, and within the next three months an equilibrium will be achieved.

I don’t mean a low rate – I mean an equilibrium. Once that is set and the speculation and market adjustment has competed, we will have addressed the fundamental reason as to why the black-market existed.

Firstly, because the existing laws and regulations were not enforced, and existing legislation relating to money changers legislation was not being enforced – we cannot have 220 money changers in the country. I have not seen this in other countries. They have to be proper money changers who have invested a certain amount of capital, just like the banks.

I emphasise this but I still don’t get the commitment I need from stakeholders to address it.

Secondly, the monetary regulation states that rufiya is the legal tender for all transactions, with the exception of the government’s collection of taxes and fees. I think we should enforce this irrespective of the sector. We should have rufiya prices – what other country has prices in another country’s currency?

You can still pay in dollars – but this is the exchange rate. For [the customer] it may still seem as though you are paying in dollars, but the transactions are actually happening in rufiya. In Colombo you pay in local currency, even if you use your credit card. We need to have that enforcement irrespective of the sector.

In the medium term we need to address the budget deficit, especially recurrent spending, which has to be matched with income. A state cannot be operated without matching recurrent expenditure to its income – that is madness. A state has to have a prudent economic system – capital expenditure can still be borrowed, because future returns are there.

We working with the ministries to streamline and reduce the deficit in the budget. Next year we are hoping to have a balanced budget.

JJR: The opposition-majority parliament has substantially added to the last two budgets submitted by the government, and the President has been compelled to ratify these. How do you deal with this?

AI: We are trying to work on the legal side as well as the practical, and make sure this is enforced – at least that recurrent expenditure and income is matched, and that any additional bill passed during that particular year is supported with a revenue measure.

They can’t just simply tell us to pass a budget, and then pass bills giving us additional expenditure – every bill comes at a cost. What we propose is that they think about this and rectify it – this is very important.

The third long term goal is increasing productivity and exports, to make sure that whichever government is in power, our manifesto continues and the country can move forward. We need exports to be increased, and earn dollars. Long term, that is the only solution to counter this [economic situation]. In the long run there should be a regulatory framework that supports this.

JJR: Speaking of the regulator, where does the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) fit into this? It was only recently that the government was calling for the resignation of MMA Governor Fazeel Najeeb for failing to help address the situation.

AI: I don’t want to dwell on that. For me the governor – whoever is there – I should work with them. What I want is the regulations to be there. For example, the devaluation of the currency within this 20 percent band – that has to be supported.

Once we make a decision, such as the devaluation, we cannot go back. The fundamental health of the economy told us that we had to do this. The President met with the MMA Board, which advised, and a decision was made. It is not time for us to affect the confidence of the economy – an economy cannot survive without confidence. That is the crucial factor an economy needs – and state institutions need to ensure that confidence is there.

JJR: If the government was convinced that the value of the rufiya was going to fall somewhere within that band, why not float the currency altogether?

AI: The reason what that if we float the currency it would have short-term consequences and immediate jumps. A band means the government will defend that band – that is what we are doing with the weekly auction of dollars to the banks.

Secondly we have numbers from the TGST income that suggest we have been underestimating our economy. By having our policies in place – productivity increasing policies and growing additional exports – we are confident we can pull the value of the rufiya down to 10 in the long term – that is our aim. It is not a joke.

JJR: There is a lot of concern, particularly in resort circles, that the new policy restricting expatriate remittances will reduce the willingness of people to work in the Maldives. What was the logic behind that decision?

AI: We understand that expatriate employees are very important. We will never hurt them and we will ensure that their interests are protected. The regulation that the Ministry and MMA are working on will only limit repatriation of what they earn legally under their contract. If they remit more, obviously they will have been earning illegally.

They are living and spending in the Maldives as well – but they can still repatriate up to what they earn. What we are trying to do is limit illegal workers [remitting dollars out of the country].

JJR: If at the same time you are enforcing use of the rufiya when there is some doubt as to whether you can walk into a bank and exchange that into dollars to remit it overseas – does that not impact confidence in the economy?

AI: We believe the market is currently unstable because of the changes we have brought, and that these changes will take three months for the various variables to work. In that period the government will work with the MMA to ensure that stability exists.

There will be a lot of low confidence and instability, and that will not only be felt by the expatriates. All our imports and consumables, medicine, education – is imported. But we are confident we can get through this.

JJR: Potential foreign investors looking at the economy and observing the recent changes may be unsettled by this instability. How do you address this concern?

AI: The current government is a centre-right government, and we are opening our doors to an unimaginable level for foreign investment.

We will not be treating foreign investors different from local businesses. We will not put in unreasonable controls on the economy, and we will make sure foreign investors are consulted, as with the locals.

We have not done this in the past.because we have been very tightly focused on politics as well as the economy, and haven’t been able to communicate as much in English perhaps as we should have.

I believe [foreign investors] have confidence in our economy, and we will ensure their investments are protected in this country, and that wel continue to have policies to encourage further investment. This country does not have a solid financial sector so we need foreign investors very much. That is understood by the current government, and the policy is to attract foreign investors.

JJR: So economy before politics from here on in?

AI: Yes. Until the next election!


50 thoughts on “Q&A: Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz”

  1. Looks like, speaks like, thinks like and behaves like a person from Gaafu Dhaalu. Is he?

  2. I hope the cost of all the basic commodities of life goes down in Maldives when you remove all those import duty taxes!

  3. "I think the opposition is very mature."

    Of which country, does our Minister speak about? Surely, he cannot be referring to the clowns sitting in our Parliament?

    Overall, I liked this interview and the Minsters responses were good and measured. However, he gave away the game early on in the interview:

    "They have their suggestions and recommendations and we have the policies the President is proposing."

    A question that was not asked is: who's running the economy? The President by himself? From the Ministers statement it sounds like he's just doing clerical work for the President!

  4. Inaz speaks his true mind! I sense he is one the most honest finance ministers this country had seen! I have known him for a longtime as a boss of him. He is who is extremly hard working and committed and firm on his decision! This country needs one of his kind!He has sense of justice in his policies he advocate and actions. Businessmen and MP's needs to back him if they want to safe this country from this crisis!

  5. I think if this Finance Minister is given the opportunity to sort out our economy, he can! And he will. I have confidence in him.

  6. My favourite quote:..."And to do that we need an economic system that supports social change... To sustain their businesses it is important that they have social and political stability. It would be a grave mistake if one stands up and says they don’t support [income tax], because that will bring instability to the country and harm businesses."

    Yes, sadly, you have to convince many business people to behave morally (social-concern) because it is also in their own best interests to do so. Business men often can only do the right thing for the wrong reason, so it is necessary that Inaz convinces the businesses this way. But for how long can it work?

    In some nations, (Brazil) the rich have just exploited and crushed the hell out of the poor for years without negative effects to those businesses, and I am sure that the rich believed it was not in their interests to be taxed, except for the army to crush hell out of any potential uprisings. They believe they proved it.

    There has to be enough people pushing for the right thing for the right reasom.

    That reason is: If one human being is robbed of what makes them rich through greed or injustice, humanity is robbed of its collective riches!

  7. He is few amongst who understand economics and finance. plus he is eligible to be finance minister and understand Maldives economy and few or no conflicting interest to fulfill his duties. Furthermore he is ethical and true to him self and trustworthy. I believe he will be a good Finance Minister we have never seen before. Wish him good luck and hope he will serve the country well.

  8. I mean, in the immediate term, Inaz's strategy must be employed to get the businesses on board, thankyou Mr. Inaz.

    But in the long run, people have to work at trying to put the right reasons into the business people's hearts, a culture of self-sacrificial caring MUST be embraced in Maldives or else the Maldives will always remain tyrannical to the have nots.

  9. Dear Noonu.....You are so Naive...Just because someone speaks nicely it doesn't mean anything...I don't trust this young very inexperienced,just out of university graduate to solve our economic vows...Its too early to give him any credit..He didn't get the ministerial job because of his qualification but because of his connection...Maybe God save Maldives from fiscal experimentation and the likes of him..A wolf in a lambs...

  10. Savor grapes!
    What does it matter if he is from Thinadhoo.
    Bloody Maldivians are racialists!

  11. Savor grapes!
    What does it matter if he is from Thinadhoo.
    Maldivians are racialists!

  12. There was a confusion and slight fear of happening around before reading this article. Mr.Inaz's answers help to stay calm for the moment and watch it out.

  13. More than a month has passed since it was decided to release dollar pegging of Rufiyaa. We haven't seen any positive sign of a floating dollar exchange rate. If the Minister's predictions of 3 months for Rufiyaa to settle down proves right, we should have seen a result for one third of the problem by now. Importers are running from bank to bank begging for dollars but banks are unable to satisfy their needs. The black market is back with a vengeance operated by dollar earners who are blessed with fabulous exchange deals, all at the cost general public. One blunder that Minister didn't admit was the fact the the band in which the rate was allowed to float was too high even compared to the prevailing black market price 14.20 on the day of the decision. Merchants had their costing calculated in the range of 14-14.50 and the devaluation of rufiyaa instantly rocketed the costing to 17.00 which brought about the prices unaffordable.
    The timing of the move a blunder too. P
    Hajj pilgrims are hunting dollars, night market traders and general traders are competing to find dollars for ramazan orders.
    We don't agree with Minister when he says that government is supporting the exchange rate. Firstly he hasn't made dollars available to the buyers. Secondly no cost cutting program has been announced. If anything we have seen few more state Minister are appointed on a daily basis. Thirdly we don't see any measures to build confidence in rufiyaa and the economic system.
    Investors might choose Kabul or Mogadishu over Maldives.

  14. "and haven’t been able to communicate as much in English perhaps as we should have."

    You lot have not even explain this in Dhivehi either.

    Isn't Gaafu Dhaalu part of Maldives. Who cares where he comes from or what party he belongs as long as he can help our country back on its own feet.

    JJ why don't you go to where ever you came from and do a refresher's course, surely you could have grinder-ed this man better than this. What lame questions to ask from a Minister of Finance.

    Sounds like one of our autodidact journalists.

  15. @Nars,
    You sounds like one of the exFinance Minister who is bitter and sour from Gayoom regime! I did some basic economics modules in university and I am in industry for 3 dacade. I am convinced on what Inaz has said! No one in Social Science can be 100% sure of the result! He got the atitude, guts and confidence! Lets face the truth!! Where is Governor of MMA? in UK? or plotting an economic coup with Yameen?

  16. @Nars
    I know Inaz, He holds Degree and Masters degree in Economics. He worked in MMA few years as Bank Supervision Officer. Then worked in Ministry of Planning and National Development as Assistant Director and Deputy Director General. He then moved to work as a Trade Policy Consultant at Ministry of Economic Development and Trade before he became the Deputy Minister and State Minister later in this government. He was my lecturer at Villa College for my MBA program for Managerial Economics and also when I was in FMC he took Macroeconomics module for our batch. SO WHAT EXPERIENCE MORE DO YOU WANT?? He is brave and well educated with ethical mind set. I agree there are more people who have worked in Maumoon government who were mere puppets of him with no real experince of a modern economy nor they have the apitite acadamically to run the finance ministry. we don't need 30 year's experience to run this government. Inaz we are with you.

  17. @Alibeyya

    You have raised some very questionable arguments most of which don't hold any water at all.

    (1) "general traders are competing to find dollars for ramazan orders."

    There's this stupid universal acceptance that Ramazan somehow must lead to more consumption. This is against the very purpose of Ramazan as prescribed in Islam. Ramazan in effect has to be month of lowest consumption and therefore must have the least amount of pressure to import goods. We're all Muslims, so first lets focus on ourselves eh?

    (2) "Secondly no cost cutting program has been announced. If anything we have seen few more state Minister are appointed on a daily basis."

    Alibeyyaa, are you living under a rock with your eyes shut and ears closed? This argument is just getting lame now. The Finance Minister has repeated many times now, that the cost of political appointees is just 2.25% of the entire expenditure!

    How would you like the government to cost cut then? Reduce the civil service? No way; the government tried, but was blocked by DRP, PA and the rest. How about reducing the Civil service salaries? No way Jose. As we speak, they are demanding an extra MRf 400 million for back pay!

    How about reducing the salaries and benefits of MPs, Judges and other members of the various institutions? No way, the government has no control over their pay and benefits at all.

    Alibeyya, may I suggest that you actually open your eyes and ears to what's going on? No wonder then that the Finance Minister walked out of the meeting with morons representing so-called "youth"!

  18. He is not truthful to the country but to his master, he do not even know where we are heading.. What three months ..? Under his leadership of finance ministry chandhanee suja is a state minister and his gf Haifa is now deputy minister what are all these waste Ina? Cut the crap all u want is money.. This band is a total failure and all small businesses and public are goin bankrupt ...

  19. @Nars is calling people naive. He also makes comments that other comments are stupid. Nars, you may not understand what is being said, but it is typically childish behaviour to label something stupid because you do not understand it. Nars, our comments are for the grown ups, not for those who don't understand such as yourself. So leave the adults in peace, go back to worshipping your Zaeem which is the pre-occupation for all you children, and give the adults a chance to heal the country, huh?

  20. @ Ibe

    I heard someone say "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck."

  21. Dear Minister,

    My only problem is the government seems to compensate for their bad policies not by cutting their own spending, but by asking the people to provide more money for them.

  22. Feels good that i am generating comments..:-)...Yeah, i get it Ben anyone who doesn't agree with your yellow world view is a child.....Heal the country!!!..fat chance...Maybe the country is healed for you when we don't have an opposition and Anni becomes the Emperor for life with all his cronies deliciously eating away all our tax money...Just listen to the speech by Loli Jabir et al given on artificial beach in support of Anni...If these are the adults you have in mind then i would rather be a child.

  23. @ Baba..Its only natural that you would have some respect for your teachers/lecturers..Doesn't mean a thing.
    @Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb- Roadha hefaa meehunah roadhamahuge kanthahathah hunagoih igeyny...

  24. Inaz's responses appear quite ok. But I think this is probably the worst job ever by a journalist in grilling a finance minister.



  26. @Ahmed bin Addu

    I don't know whether you live in Addu or Male', but if you come to Male'during next Ramzan, just make a short visit to the Kunigondu. That's where you would witness the extent of dumped food.

    Tighten you belt whoever you are, no matter you are the Majlis, government or individual and hold the dollar in the country! if you have a flight load of privileged people going to Colombo for weekend fun, that would not help with current situation. Do you know what I mean?

  27. People, people, people. There is no use of us fighting between ourselves.

    Ramadan is a month of high consumption. This is a well-known and established fact. Belt-tightening goes against cultural expectations therefore would be near to impossible to do, especially for a festive month (please do not go on lecture me on the religio-philosophical bases of Ramdan - I am a realist).

    I do not know this Inaz personally. However the public is not expected to endorse a Cabinet Minister. The Majlis does have a say but whether this was meant to secure popular support for such a person is questionable. If the President wishes that this person remain, then it should be so.

    However, the MDP administrations fiscal policies are hard to criticize due to lack of consistency. The actions taken in past months seem reactionary to even the most biased observer (the lengths of bias in an impending one-party system of governance of course might exceed my humble expectations).

    Therefore, public and business confidence in reactionary measures might be low. Also, uncertainty might cause price fluctuations as well. Introducing a tax regime is all well and good. However, changing the figures involved on a daily basis creates more uncertainty. The word 'gradual' is almost forgotten in the current administration's lexicon.

    This Inaz will implement the policy of the current administration. Therefore his PR efforts do not reflect his own thought but rather what he is required to say.

    Take it from someone who has seen the inner workings of policy formulation in government. The input from Cabinet Ministers are very minimal. Most recommendations come directly from the President and whoever else has his ear at the day. If you do not believe me, leave this comment forum, work your way to the top, sit in a policy-formulation session and come and challenge this statement.

  28. My concern is not that Anni is worshipped and Maumoon is exposed as a mere mortal. I am not even a Maldivian so I can't have any tribal allegiances. It is rediculous to speak of me as being yellow.

    My concern is that - I hate ppl to live in fear. Any people.

    It is a basic moral duty to be opposed to any one who crushes people with fear.

    Sadly, I have experienced the fear that the power of Maumoon and Yameen put into people, and that is why I am against them. More so, Yameen, because I have experienced his cruelty personally, but it just so happens that Yameen's power is made possible by Maumoon.

    I did not hate Maumoon until he accepted Yameen back into his cabinet just before the Presidential elections. But since he gave power to Yameen, I saw through Maumoon's benevolent mask of humanitarian Islam and saw his soul for what it was, vanity! Princess like VANITY! It actually hurt me, because, believe it or not, there are still many supporters of Maumoon, relatives of Maumoon whom I still love dearly, and in fact I still feel that the compassion of his daughter whom I met in Theemuge' was genuine. More than anything I felt BETRAYED by Maumoon.

    If people were genuinely frightened of Anni, I would fight him as well. But as it is, though I don't support MDP economic policies, I see that Anni strives to be liberal and unintimidating to all. I support him for that. I mean, I trust, that if Anni expresses his 'Nulafa,' it would only be against genuine tyranny.

    Yameen and Gasim were treated like Kings compared to the way Maumoon's political prisoners were treated.

    I don't care who is in power, if they do the right thing, I support it. If they do the wrong thing, I reject it. I don't worship or follow any politician, my allegiance is not to any mere human being.

    I seek to follow what is right.

  29. @Monkey President...You are right, that's my point as well..these yellow fellows cant see that all these taxes are going to drive small and medium dhivehi enterprises to extinction..Nobody in the yellow government seems to be having any idea what a SME is, let alone create a environment for business to flourish...The Monkey Pres is destroying our livelihoods and the country in order to stay in power while the yellow folks run around like a Amazonian tribe in their full ceremonial yellow garb...

  30. Congratulations to Inaz. You could set a high standard for the job of past Finance Minister who are usually known to Maldivians for drunkedness.
    The comments reveals the kind of a citizens we have in the Maldives. Best of luck and never look back.

  31. "..these yellow fellows cant see that all these taxes are going to drive small and medium dhivehi enterprises to extinction.."

    @Nars- Companies which earn a profit Mrf500,000 a year, or people who make Mrf30,000 a month are not small and medium dihivehi enterprises. Only the above mentioned category is going to be taxed.

    Monkey prez, yellow garb, Amazonia.......What on Gods green earth are you talking about?

  32. Inaz is the person who forwarded this band in the meeting of mma board and the president and he is trying to defend it. I remember Adeeb saying in the first day it will never work, and as far as from our experience we are in a worse situation after the band is implemented.. I am sure inaz will not have the courage to have a debate on this issue at an intellectual level. As we public want to see that.

    This dollar is a major issue which needs public debate, not the finance minister saying only what he wants alone with Naseer if he blvd in democracy..

  33. @peasant

    Just ignore those comments. They are seeking attention by repeating the same matra here, over and over again. Zedey must be rubbing off that narcissism on his followers. All sound and no fury.

    @tsk tsk

    "Ramadan is a month of high consumption. This is a well-known and established fact. ..., especially for a festive month..."

    I'm a realist too and I and my family try to spend the least possible during Ramadhan and it's our lowest expenditure point of the year. FYI, it's not a "festive" month, it's a month of reflection, piety and subservience to our creator.

    I'm not trying to preach religion here, but I'm just saying that this "established fact" needs to be challenged!

    On the subject of Mr Inaz, I'm certain that if he and his colleagues stick to their plans, this economy will turn around and will lay the foundation for a stronger country going forward.

    When you look at the country as a whole, every intelligent person can see that it needs patching everywhere. Everwhere we look, from education, health, social welfare and many more areas; we see that so much work needs to be done. All of this needs a sound financial basis. I'm glad the government has given this the right priority, since democracy is meaningless if the country has to go hungry.

  34. Dear Peasant....haha..you no nothing about economy or business..i doubt you have your own business...The people who earn more 500.000 rufiyaa per year are not SME!!!!!....do you have any idea what a SME is? even a small kanmathi kada earns that much..i know...But the real danger is that if we the hard working Maldivian SMEs keep quite this power hungry yellow monster will quitely keep increasing our tax burden..It was 3.5 VAt then 5% now hes taking of 6%...Pretty soon inheritence tax, land holdings tax, increased income tax maybe a progressive taxation system...and on top of that maybe even the local provinces and councils may levy a tax not related to central government ...where the hell is this going to end?...all the while there is no solid system of checks and balances of what hapens to our tax payers money?...Ali waheed i heard was bought for a pakage valued at 23 million rufiyaa...So wher is all this money coming from? Huge government contracts awarded through dubious procedures..So in such a environment we can 100% sure tax money will be squandered....Just look at India

  35. Dear Ben "I don’t care who is in power" ..ofcourse you don't your not even maldivian.....We Maldivinas are not concerned about our past, even if we kill Maumoon today tomrow morning we would have to wake up to the same harsh reality....We are concerned about the future....Today the nations future is bleak..People has lost faith in the government, institutions, parliment. courts....The current government is only concerned with winning 2013 elections...The ordinary citizens life has not improved even an iorta...Presdient Nasheed and his mid summer election night's dreams.

  36. Nars sounds no MORE AND MORE like an exFinance Minister who was so pissed off when Maumoon bilitted him! Currently this ExMinister is working with bunch of businessmen like Champa. This ExMinister is too coward to come out and give a fair debate on these issues so sends a school boy called Adeeb from chamber after daily spoon feeding him on topics. Interesting way to operate! Wake up dear!

  37. Well!!!

    Minister Inaz is the only Finance Minister who I believe know where he is and where he is going to.

    So, I think we all perhaps could give him time to reform our economy...

    Saabas Inaz, keep it up Inaz

  38. Of course I care who is in power, I did not mean that "I do not care who is in power" but I said that because I expressed what I meant the wrong way. Of course I damned well care who is in power, but what I meant was my care is not to support any particular individual to power my care is for the people. I care about who is in power, not for the sake of the person in power, but for the people. That is what I meant! I care that whoever is in power does not become a tyrant.

  39. You know what, I think I really must be crazy to feel the need to defend myself against straw man arguments all the time. I think what I meant when I said "I don't care" was obvious in the context, and if somebody chooses to rip something out of context and make me say something I never said, I can't waste my energy on it. This is a lesson. From now on, never listen to someone describing what someone else said, listen to, or read, exactly what was actually written what was said, not second hand passing it on.

  40. Baba sounds like minister inaz himself hehe it is well known to ppl in economic ministry how himself commented on news articles saying inaz is most capable to be a minister and etc. And it is the so called bunch of ppl who inaz requests to comment on minivan hehe, mr. Inaz u cannot even compare your self with ppl like Arif Hilmy who was the first minister to resign in the golden days of gayoom. He was the architect of many reforms and setups of this economy. We respect him because he is not some one who will lie to make a leader happy and to get a political position. And he will always tell the truth about the economy and it's real situation. Already inaz has failed to take measures as he is just a puppet who do not have any power to take a step , one thing for sure is Inaz has lied to the public that in three months it's going to be right.. Perfect lie...

  41. Maldives never had a good finance Minister or economic minister. If they did, would the country be in that pathetic situation? So stop hero worshipping the past Ministers who only serverd the interests of the elite. On a simple man like Inaz from Gaaf Dhaal can be trusted to understand the sentiments of the ordinary. How can Ari Hilmy and the like know about ordinary people.

  42. minister inaz is serving elite only his band is crushing small businesses and ordinary folks, he is looking for publicity even when country is in crisis. clapping hands when chandhanee brothers and like are given jobs from a deficit budget. mdp kuree safuga isheen dhevuneema mihaaru atoll meehun ves neyge.. inaz vanee kulhava falu ranin ah..

  43. @Barnie
    Why are you using my name and making shame on me? I resigned from Gayoom regime because he was treating me like a lap dog. Today's political sitution and setup is different. We should never compare yesterday with today. Maldivians were always in metal fear then, today there is free media. I salute the current government for the bold actions in the right directions and also condeme wrong policies such as wrong political appointees. @Barnie please don't comment for me. I am not a Gayoom worshipper.

  44. Barnie: Don't talk about things you don't know! I know Inaz personally, and he'd rather ignore people who comments such as you. And I've never heard him use words like "pissed". So, please watch your tongue!

    I hate party system! I hate MDP and DRP. And i hate that a person like Inaz is wasting his life and time on a country that is so corrupted! I'd be glad the day he gets no-confidence from Majlis. Then at least he wont be up front on media's politically twisted attacks.

    So, mind you! He isn't what you said he is.

  45. Oh and one more thing. There are several people capable of correcting this country's financial crisis. But few people who would do it with a good heart and no personal needs attached to it. Inaz is one of them. There are better people than him out there. But atleast he's trying his best. So give him that credit.


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