President: MVR 9B owed to people at end of ex-govt’s term now being paid off

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu speaks at GDh. Faresmaathoda on February 20, 2024. (Photo/President's Office)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, on Tuesday, stated that at the conclusion of the five-year term of the previous administration, MVR 9 billion was owed in unpaid bills for various private companies awarded various projects and tasks.

Speaking to the residents of GDh. Faresmaathoda on Tuesday as part of his ongoing tour of the southernmost Maldivian atolls – President Muizzu said Maldives’ debt to various foreign agencies stood at MVR 120 billion when his administration took office – excluding the amount withdrawn by local companies from the government.

Meanwhile, he added that the government had MVR 9 billion in unpaid bills to private companies concerning projects and tasks awarded by various government authorities and companies.

Emphasizing that the debt had been created by the former administration – President Muizzu said they are working to construe the reality today.   

“This is not a new payment incurred after we came [to office],” he stressed.

President Muizzu noted that his administration was working on settling these payments.

He detailed that these efforts, despite being undertaken in difficult conditions, is envisioned to be achieved without straining the economy and printing new banknotes. He added that the decision to stop printing new banknotes had been praised by financial agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“I stopped printing banknotes to the sake of the people,” he remarked.

Speaking further, President Muizzu said his administration was undertaking efforts to improve the economy, and in this trajectory, complete the development of the main airport which injects money into the nation, in addition to creating business opportunities for individual investors.

Speaking regarding Faresmaathoda – the President noted that the island’s harbor had been significantly damaged. He pledged to develop the harbor with a slipway as requested by the council after conducting the necessary surveys.

He also pledged to resolve the issue of space constraints on the island by land reclamation.

“As I have stated, at the conclusion of this five-year term, not a person facing housing difficulties will exist,” he added.

He further pledged to address further issues prevalent at Faresmaathoda.