President: Enough in reserves to import essential products

Workers load sacks of food products from the STO warehouse to a truck on April 22, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said on Wednesday that there were enough funds in the state’s reserves to import essential products such as fuel, staples and medical supplies, without any difficulties.

In a press conference on Wednesday evening, President Solih said this year would mark the year the state’s usable reserves had the highest balance.

“I wasn’t to reassure you today that we have enough funds to import monthly supplies of staples, food and medicine without difficulty. Whether in June, July, August, September or October, we have the funds. This year is the year the usable reserve has the highest balance,” he said.

President Solih said that it was undeniable that the current global economic challenges – stemming from the Russia-Ukraine war – was also affecting the Maldivian economy. 

He said that now was not the time for politically-motivated speculations, but the time to work together to overcome the challenges. 

“We have secured a USD 175 million financial facility from the ITFC so that STO can import the essential products we need without any difficulties,” he said. 

President Solih noted that the global price for wheat had doubled since the war broke out. 

President Solih said his administration was keeping a close eye on the global economic situation, and was taking all measures necessary to protect the local economy. 

“For one thing, we are going to ensure the state’s recurrent expenditure is covered by our income. That’s the path we are on even now,” he said. 

President Solih said the government, through fiscal consolidation measures, had saved MVR 1 billion in projected expenditure by the end of May, and had also halted several planned projects. 

He said that the economy was on the right track due to the measures implemented by the government, and that the nominal GDP was set to pass the MVR 100 billion-mark for the first time by the end of 2023.