Minister: MVR 7b in outstanding bills when new govt took office

Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed says that the state owed around MVR 7 billion in outstanding bills to various businesses when the new administration took office in November 2023.

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had recently criticized President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s administration, accusing it of overspending, while failing to find new sources of income.

In response, Saeed, who had also served as Economic Minister in Yameen’s administration, questioned what previous administrations had done within its first two months to generate income.

In a post on X on Wednesday afternoon, wrote that it was a good question, and one that requires a good analysis.

“There were around MVR 7 billion in outstanding bills when President Dr. Muizzu’s administration assumed office. This has left a huge adverse impact on Maldivian businesses,” he said.

However, Saeed did not post any details regarding the bills in question.

In his earlier post on Tuesday, Saeed questioned what “innovative efforts” previous administrations had engaged in within the first two months to boost the state’s income.

“This administration will not sell our capital assets, lock the laws to print money, or dodge financial responsibility,” he said.

Saeed was referring to the decision by the former administration to suspend provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act in order to increase the overdraw limit of the public bank account at the central bank.

The suspension was later extended twice, with the government allowed to print up to MVR 4.4 billion.

The current administration informed the Parliament in December that it does not wish to extend the suspension, and asked for the Act to be restored.

Speaking at a People’s National Front (PNF) rally on Monday, Yameen expressed concern the new administration wasn’t running projects designed to boost state revenue.