“Administrative issue” behind delayed civil service wage payments: Finance Minister

Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad has said that delays in paying wages to some state employees was the result of an “administrative issue” with the Bank of Maldives (BML) that was expected to be resolved by today.

Jihad told Minivan News that there were no issue maintaining civil servant salaries, adding that BML had been unable to credit accounts for the last few days. A BML spokesperson today responded that the company was “not aware of any such issues” concerning payments being made to accounts it held.

Meanwhile, several island councils have said they had not had any issues with providing wages to their staff.

Economic situation

The Maldives government last week said it was working on overcoming “economic difficulties” to cover several months of outstanding premium payments resulting from the Aasandha universal healthcare programme. Authorities are presently facing a 27 percent budget deficit that has already drawn concern from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Besides a crippling budget deficit, the Maldives is also facing a foreign currency shortageplummeting investor confidencespiraling expenditure, and a drop off in foreign aid.

Late last month the Finance Ministry also ordered all government institutions to immediately reduce their budgets by 15 percent.

However, Jihad denied that the present economic situation was adversely impacting the state’s ability to provide wages to civil servants this month.

“We are expecting crediting to occur as of today,” he said. “This is just an administrative issue with the bank.”

Both Civil Service Commission (CSC) President Mohamed Fahmy Hassan and Parliamentary Financial Committee Head Ahmed Nazim were not responding time of press.

However, a number of island councils have maintained that they have continued to receive state funding without any interruptions.

An official for the North Ari Atoll island of Maalhos’ Council Secretariat told Minivan News this afternoon that he was not aware of any issues concerning paying staff salaries, which had so far been received on time each month.

In Haa Alifu Atoll, Utheemu Island Councilor Asrar Adam said the council also had not experienced difficulties with paying wages

“We have been paying the salaries of the staffs on the last day of each month always and this month’s salary have been paid,” he said.

Island Councilor of Raa Atoll Innamaadhoo claimed that during the time of former President Mohamed Nasheed, the council was given funding for its 2012 salaries in advance – therefore ensuring it did not have any issues in paying staff.

“When our president was here everything went fine, we don’t have to worry about the salaries of 2012,” he said.

State revenue

The Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) last month published its second quarter report for 2012, detailing the majority of government revenue (with the exception of import duties).

The MIRA report highlights a 16.8 percent increase in revenue collected compared to the same period for 2011, attributable to the increase in tourism GST from 3.5 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2012.

Tourism land rent collected for the period was MVR 465.4 million (US$30.2 million)  – a drop of 24.9 percent that was 12.3 percent lower than expected.

Airport Service Charge revenue meanwhile fell 18.6 percent, to MVR 172 million (US$11.2 million).

Total revenue collection for the first half of the year was MVR 3.5 billion, an increase of 59.2 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2011, but 8.4 percent lower than projected.


8 thoughts on ““Administrative issue” behind delayed civil service wage payments: Finance Minister”

  1. Don't quite agree that there is a dollar shortage in this country. The fact remains the same from when all this started to today - even if you needed to buy $100 or $100,000 - as long as the price is right, dollar is always available! there is always someone with the large sum but willing to sell at a higher price. this behavior in the exchange market does not equate to a dollar shortage as such. nor does it make sense to assume that we have a dollar shortage where our main economic activity - tourism - generate its revenues mainly from dollars! it is just that those who do earn in dollars (the champas, the crowns, the universals, gasims and so on) have so much control over the economy, they amongst themselves wanna make a quick buck in the exchange market at the expense of the poor wholesaler, sick person leaving the country for medical and all the folks who need dollars. sad but this is the real truth behind this whole dollar shortage fiasco.

  2. Agree with you Thaube. There is no shortage of money in the Maldives, just as there is no shortage of food in the world. The rich control both to make more more profit. Unfortunately for the Maldives, the present government is controlled by the rich, the regime and the police. I am not sure if they are really concerned about the economic problems of the nation, they are more concerned about staying in power. However,you'd think they will have to fix the economic woes of the nation, because if they did not their declining popularity will decline even more. But then, you need some competency to do this and I don't get the impression that anyone in this administration is that competent. Waheed of course does not care either way as his sights are set elsewhere.A sad mess is the Maldives at present!

  3. Administrative, huh?

    Well, it's a confession - the regime bosses are eating our money.

  4. The fact is Government does not have the money to pay salaries. The cheques presented to MMA by the Finance Ministry was rejected due to lack of founds. That was the "Administrative Error'

  5. I say the Baghee Govt open a fund “Unpaid Salary fund for Protecting Islam”, the last time they pooled a cool 15 million for the Mosque maintenance fund.

    Through fund they can pay the Govt staff salaries.

  6. It is a criminal offense to issue cheques without founds in the account. Parliment should investigate why cheques issued by the Finance Minister was bounced

  7. What parliament can investigate why cheques issued by the Finance Ministry was bounced?
    What parliament?
    If it the People's Majlis; forget it!
    But if it were theirs; well! Something could be done!


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