Kaashidhoo constituency MP Abdulla Jabir has proposed amendments to the Pension Act, at Tuesday’s parliament sitting.
The first reading of the bill was held on Tuesday, with the lawmaker proposing amendments to Article 11 of the Act.
He is seeking to increase the ‘Old-Age Basic Pension’ to MVR 10,000, from MVR 5,000.
Noting that the cost of living continues to increase, MP Jabir said the old-age pension must be increased as MVR 5,000 is not sufficient to cover this.
He further emphasized that this is one of the main requests from the public, and urged his fellow lawmakers to vote in favor of the amendments.
Afterwards, Speaker- and former President- Mohamed Nasheed noted that this is related to 'public finance and the state budget.'
Noting that while the parliament procedures are “silent” on the matter, Nasheed said that Article 70 of the Constitution states that the parliament must approve an annual budget containing the projected revenue and expenditures for the year.
The Speaker said that he has no authority to dismiss a proposal, adding that it is up to the lawmakers to decide on how to move forward with the proposed amendments to the Pensions Act.
Speaking during the debate held afterwards, Maradhoo constituency MP Ibrahim Shareef noted that “this bill cannot be submitted halfway through the year.”
“This is a money bill. It can only be submitted through the state. It cannot be submitted halfway through the year. This bill should be removed from the parliament floor immediately”
~ MP Ibrahim Shareef
He added that a lawmaker can submit any number of bills to the parliament floor “to promote themselves.”
Basic Pension scheme is a lifelong inflation-indexed pension benefit, fully funded by the government provided to all Maldivian Citizens who have reached the age of 65.
The Maldives Pension Act (Pension Act) was ratified on 13th May 2009, as an independent legal entity.