State cannot afford subsidies for fishermen: Finance Minister Inaz

Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz told parliament today that the state would have to reduce other subsidies to issue Rf100 million (US$6.4 million) as oil subsidies for fishermen.

Responding to a query during Minister’s Question time at the first sitting of this year’s final session of parliament, Inaz explained that parliament had approved reducing amounts from other budget items to free up funds to subsidize oil for fishermen.

“It would have been easier if parliament had decided to reduce from a particular item,” he said, noting that potential items included subsidies for water, oil and foodstuffs as well as state benefits for persons with special needs.

“If we cut any of the [budget] items, we would be cutting basic needs,” he said. “The Majlis has not asked the government to cut any particular item so the government cannot cut any item and hasn’t been able to find a fair way to issue subsidies for fishermen.”

Inaz noted that there were other government policies geared towards assisting fishermen and developing the industry.

The Finance Minister added that the 2011 budget was structurally in deficit and oil subsidies could be issued after new tax revenue is collected.

The oil subsidy was added to the budget by parliament when it approved the 2011 state budget in December last year.

During today’s debate on a binding resolution proposed by MP Riyaz Rasheed to compel the government to issue the fishermen’s subsidy, opposition MPs insisted that delays to releasing the funds were “unacceptable” while the government was continuing its “wasteful and useless expenditures.”


3 thoughts on “State cannot afford subsidies for fishermen: Finance Minister Inaz”

  1. For shame Inaz.

    I am certain you know that government budgets are not piggy banks to be cracked open for any old purpose.

    Line items in a budget are approved with specific figures based on existing funds and expected revenues.

    Just because you do not politically approve of the approved item does not mean that you can go around cooking up your own theories about how public funds are spent.

    The government you represent certainly prioritizes showing off at the SAARC summit over saving our dying fishing industry.

    Please provide permanent employment to all the households in fishing villages at the infamous Addu Convention Center in the future. Thank you.

  2. I agree with Inaz! Oil subsidy money was a corruption pool which involves many oil retailers such as MP Riyaz who question the minister! High court is currently process of a case which said MP Riyaz has outstanding debt of Rf 18 mil to STO since 2006!! So i wonder why he wants to get this money!!! INAZ don't give this!! The government has already reduce import duty of Desiel by 50% this year!! So what more do fishermen wants? We as tourism employees also want subsidy then!! What a joke!!

  3. MORE: this oil subsidy was created by Fathin Hameed to give away state money to friends and family in atolls for election!!


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