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State Budget for 2023 passed; opposition's recommendations rejected

Lamya Abdulla
29 November 2022, MVT 14:26
(FILE) Parliamentarians voting at a session: the state budget was passed on November 28, 2022with 61 votes -- Photo: Parliament
Lamya Abdulla
29 November 2022, MVT 14:26

The parliament on Monday approved the state budget for 2023 set at MVR 42.8 billion, rejecting all amendments proposed by the opposition.

In the last sitting of the third session of parliament for this year, 61 lawmakers voted to pass the budget while eight members voted against it.

Opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) proposed number of amendments to the budget. They included reducing government spending, dissolving some existing state companies, and redistributing funds allocated to these companies to other avenues.

However, none of these amendments were approved.

Amendments recommended by opposition

- Increasing the budget to construct Arabiyya School by MVR 8.8 million

- Reduce the Special Budget from MVR 6.8 billion to MVR 3.8 million

- To reduce the capital of MVR 764 million allocated for state companies by 25 percent

- To deduct MVR 73.5 million from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' budget and reallocate that money for Arabiyya School

-To reduce the contingency budget amount from MVR 1.7 billion to MVR 100 million

- To reduce the budget allocated for the salaries of political appointees by MVR 225.5 million and to reallocate the funds for fishermen's subsidy

- Reduce travel expenses to MVR 104 million

- To ensure fuel will be available for lower prices and ensure the subsidies are available for fishermen directly

Some of the lawmakers from Speaker Mohamed Nasheed's faction of the ruling Maldives Democratic Party's (MDP) also proposed amendments to the budget. They requested the added components to last year's budget to be detailed separately, the amount received by state-owned companies to be disclosed, as well as the details of those eligible for fuel subsidy to be given separately.

These amendments were rejected by the parliament after receiving no support from the majority of MDP parliamentarians who support the incumbent President.

Supplementary Budget also passed

The parliament also approved a supplementary budget of MVR 5.8 billion proposed by the Ministry of Finance for the current fiscal year after the MVR 36.9 billion originally approved failed to meet the expenses.

The supplementary budget was passed with 61 lawmakers voting in favour of the bill and eight voting against it. This brings the state's total expenditure for the year to MVR 42.8 billion.

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