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24 Jun 2024 | Mon 17:35
President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu
President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu
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Muizzu on debts
Questions surface on how Pres. Muizzu covered other expenses after spending MVR 13bn to pay off debts
MVR 18 billion has been spent from the budget so far
MVR five billion as salaries
Remaining was MVR 13 billion, only to pay off the debt?

Former Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer has posed an important question to President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, following his claims that the government had settled a “substantial” total debt incurred by the former administration totaling MVR 13 billion, within the past seven months.

President Muizzu revealed that the government had settled MVR 13 billion in debt, to foreign and domestic parties over the course of the past seven months, while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the main ruling People’s National Congress (PNC)’s main campaign site, “PNC House” on Sunday evening.

Following these remarks, the ex-minister took to social media platform ‘X’, with a string of questions.

Highlighting that the president has claimed to have paid off MVR 13 billion in debts, Ameer noted that so far this year, MVR 18 billion has been spent from the state budget according to the finance ministry’s statistics.

Ameer stated that the state-publicized statistics confirm that MVR five billion was spent as salaries during the period.

Therefore, Ameer has questioned if the government would have enough funds to do anything else after using the remaining MVR 13 billion to pay off debts.

The former minister questioned whether the incumbent administration did not open offices, purchase drones or conducts trips with the president and his Cabinet of Ministers, after having spent all that money.

Highlighting that it is clear that these events happened, Ameer questioned how the expenses for these events were acquired.

Had these expenditures been made from the state budget, Ameer stressed that there was no way to pay that huge a sum in debts, as the president is claiming.

The former minister went on to state that MVR 200 million has been spent on administrative and operational expenses alone so far this year. Further, there has been an increase of MVR 600 million spent in operational expenses and salaries alone.

Further, Ameer pointed out that political posts have surged from 700 to 2,000 since Muizzu came into power.

As all of these are factors for surging expenditure rather than cost reduction, the calculations of the president have raised some significant questions on how the incumbent administration managed to pay off MVR 13 billion in debts within just seven months, and cover the subsequent expenses without any issues.

Gloating his administration’s success in repaying MVR 2.7 billion without depending on high-interest loans or issuing additional currency within the past seven months, President Muizzu stated that his administration has settled MVR four billion out of the MVR nine billion in unpaid dues that came as government bills for services commissioned from domestic parties by previous administrations.

The president went on to state that the sovereign fund which sat at USD two million when he assumed office back in November 2023, surged significantly to USD 54 million over the course of seven months.

The president also shed light on ambitious plans to increase the funds further, to USD 100 million before the year concludes.

Touching upon his strategic decision to stop issuing additional currency notes, Muizzu stated that the policy has attracted positive recognition from international financial institutions.

Last updated at: 3 weeks ago
Reviewed by: Maryam Dhaanish Nasheed
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