MPs clash on controversial committee allowance

MPs clashed yesterday on a resolution proposed by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Ahmed Mahloof to scrap a controversial MVR 20,000-a-month committee allowance.

During a heated debate at Tuesday’s sitting of parliament, several MPs questioned the sincerity of the PPM MPs’ proposal, with some claiming that the Galolhu South MP had not attended committee meetings for the past five months.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Thoriq noted that Mahloof was being paid MVR 500,000 by the state as pay for several months for which he did not do any work. Fellow MDP MP Mohamed Riyaz meanwhile noted that MPs who do not attend committee meetings would not be eligible for the allowance.

Presenting the resolution, MP Mahloof said he had not discussed the matter with the PPM parliamentary group before submitting the proposal.

PPM MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla said he could not support the resolution in its current form, claiming that he would support a proposal to cut the entire salary of MPs and force them to work pro bono.

He added that the 17th parliament was the most productive in Maldivian history as it had passed the most number of bills during the past three years.

Almost all of the 12 MPs who spoke during the debate opposed the resolution. However, a consensus developed around creating a Pay Commission to streamline the state’s pay scale or structure.