Census taking underway for Maldivians in Trivandrum

A special programme has been launched for census taking of the Maldivian diaspora in Trivandrum, India, reports newspaper Haveeru.

The census started on Saturday and  78 census forms had been filled so far, according to Ibrahim Nadheeh, president of Maldivian Social Community (MSC).

MCS was founded by the Maldives Consulate in Trivandrum and Maldivians living in Trivandrum. About 3,000 Maldivians reside in the southernmost Indian city.

Nadheeh said that he expected the census to be completed within a week and noted that proper records of Maldivians living in the city would be helpful in the future.

“In addition to this, we have plans to teach Quran, Islam and Dhivehi here. With the completion of the census, we can find out the number of children who live here,” he was quoted as saying.

In late 2012, the government announced that a national census would be conducted in 2014. The last census was conducted in 2006 by the Ministry of Planning and Development, which found the population to be 298,968.

In March 2013, the department of national planning announced that the census would be conducted in September next year under the slogan “count me in.”


National census scheduled to commence in September 2014

The Department of National Planning (DNP) has announced it is to carry out a national census in September next year, local media has reported.

Speaking to local media on Thursday (March 21), DNP Assistant Director Fathimath Riyaza stated that the census will take place from September 20 to September 27, and will be advertised under the slogan of “count me in”.

“We will visit the houses this time too, and gather information of the number of people in each household, along with other information regarding the people in the household,” Riyaza was quoted as saying in local media.

A total of 3327 enumerators are to be employed to collect the information next year, and that upcoming census will include information on foreigners living in the country.

Local media reported that Maldives conducted its first census in 1911 and has held a census every five years since 1985.


Inflation rate increases 10.88 percent during 2012

Statistics from the Department of National Planning have indicated that inflation in the Maldives rose by 10.88 percent during 2012, according to local media reports.

Department director General Mariyam Niyaf explained the increase was the result of prices in commodities changing.

Local newspaper Haveeru has reported that the statistics indicated the cost of fish has increased by 50.77 percent nationwide, while food and beverage catering had risen by 10.85 percent over the twelve month period.

“All assessments show that the prices are rising. We believe that the main reason for it could be the rise in price of vegetables to 8.8 percent. Fish prices are also up 2.8 percent, Haveeru quoted Niyaf as saying.

Meanwhile, statistics indicate the inflation rate for furniture, household items, air transportation, as well as tools and equipment have slightly decreased.

In August 2012, an increased inflation rate was attributed to changes in the dollar, currently pegged to the rufiyaa within a 20 percent range of MVR 12.85.

In real terms, the rate has remained fixed at the maximum limit of MVR 15.42 and remains non-exchangeable, forcing importers to rely on inconsistent black market dollar exchanges of up to MVR 17-18.

In April 2011, then-Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz explained that the government decided to change the fixed exchange rate to a “managed float” to shape government policy towards increasing the value of the rufiyaa and ultimately bring the exchange rate down to MVR 10 – an oft-repeated pledge of former President Mohamed Nasheed.

The worsening balance of payments deficit could not be plugged without allowing the market to set the exchange rate, Inaz said at the time, adding that through lowering the fiscal deficit and spurring private sector job growth, “a path would open up for us to reach the lower band (MVR 10.28).”