Nasheed: Belief income will rise enough to cover debt is fantasy

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed presides over a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed said on Monday that believing it possible for a sudden increase in the state’s income - enough to cover the national debt - is a fantasy, given the economic and financial realities of the country. 

Nasheed, who returned to Male’ after his trip to the UK on Sunday, voiced concern over Maldives’ debt situation while opening Tuesday’s parliamentary sitting. 

Nasheed said that the main concern raised by parliamentarians over the 2022 budget proposed by the government was the debt situation.  

“The greatest burden on the state, without doubt, is debt repayment. The debt has risen significantly, and the projects were which the loans were taken aren’t generating income to repay the loans,” he said. 

Nasheed said that the state’s greatest priority should be debt repayment, and said that MVR 2.9 billion has been allocated on the 2022 budget for debt repayment alone. 

Nasheed said that proper repayment of debt can only be possible with a significant rise in income, but a sudden increase in income isn’t possible. 

“Even believing such a significant change in income is possible, in terms of an economic or financial perspective is, a fantasy,” he said. 

Nasheed reiterated his call for the need to restructure debt.