Budget presented despite obstructions from Democrats MPs

Democrats MPs surround Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer as he presents the 2024 state budget on November 14, 2023.

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer presented the budget in Parliament today as members of Parliament belonging to The Democrats tried to obstruct him.

Next year's budget and supplementary budget for this year were on the agenda for today's sitting.

Earlier, the no-confidence motion was tabled against Nasheed. The minister did not attend the session to present the budget on the advice of the Attorney General.

Therefore, the Democrats said the minister was present in Parliament today after violating the privileges of the entire Parliament. Members of the party also tried to obstruct the budget presentation saying that the Supreme Court judgment shows that the legal advice received saying not to present the budget was illegal.

However, the new Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Aslam, rejected the Democrats' systemic motion. Democrats then surrounded the minister as he presented the budget and tried to prevent him from speaking. The minister was surrounded by MDP MPs who protected him.

The finance minister has presented a supplementary budget of MVR 6.5 billion for the remainder of this year and MVR 49.5 billion for next year.

The Finance Ministry proposed a budget of MVR 3.1 billion for total recurrent expenditure and MVR 3.3 billion for capital expenditure. With the proposed increase of MVR 6.5 billion in this year's budget, the state budget will increase to MVR 49.3 billion this year. The parliament has approved a budget of MVR 42.8 billion for this year.

President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has previously stated that he wants to keep next year's budget at MVR 49 billion. He said the top priority was to maintain the budget in line with international agencies and credit rating agencies. He said he would give priority to reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio.