Records released by Finance Ministry show Maldives’ debt rose to MVR 86.5 billion by the end of last year.
According to the records, the MVR 86.5 billion included MVR 44 billion in domestic debt and MVR 42.5 billion in external debt.
The total public and publicly guaranteed external debt stood at 76 percent of the GDP, while the total public and publicly guaranteed domestic debt stood at 73 percent of the GDP.
Maldives’ GDP by the end of last year stood at MVR 57.9 billion, and the total public and publicly guaranteed debt stood at 149 percent of the GDP.
The records show Maldives’ debt rising from MVR 48.6 billion by the end of 2018 to MVR 67.9 billion by the end of 2019, before rising to MVR 86.5 billion – which is attributed to loans taken by the government to cover COVID-19 related expenditure.
Maldives’ main economic driver – the tourism sector was hit hard the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 – with months long border closure and global travel restrictions. The government took multiple loans to ensure the continuity of public services and overdrew MVR 4 billion from the central bank.
The records show the government took out 18 loans last year.