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PPM/PNC candidate announces economic manifesto

Mohamed Rehan
27 September 2023, MVT 15:37
Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, the PPM/PNC coalition candidate announces his economic manifesto, and promises national GDP increment to MVR 150 billion in the next five years-- Photo: Mihaaru
Mohamed Rehan
27 September 2023, MVT 15:37

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) coalition candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has unveiled his economic manifesto.

With his manifesto, Dr. Muizzu pledged total state debt recovery and an increase of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Maldives to MVR 150 billion.

Dr. Muizzu announced his manifesto at the opposition coalition’s campaign rally held on Monday evening, September 25, where he said that the current administration’s debt has reached MVR 114 billion while the collective debt of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has reached MVR 32 billion.

He said that GDP per capita by the culmination of former president Abdulla Yameen’s administration was at USD 10,000, which was a 35 percent increase from when he assumed presidency in 2013. Dr. Muizzu said that the current GDP per capita was down to 12 percent while per capita debt has increased.

Dr. Muizzu said that the halted progress of Velana International Airport (VIA), combined with inadequate policies for the fisheries sector, has contributed to a decline in GDP. Additionally, he said that there has been an increase in state debt even as developmental projects remain ongoing.

The opposition candidate also said that the Maldives gross reserve stood at USD 712 million by the end of Yameen’s administration, which has declined to USD 594 million under the current administration. He added that the usable reserve at USD 284 million under Yameen’s government dropped to USD 150 million under president Solih’s administration.

"We began this cause to save the Maldives from its economic pit," Dr. Muizzu said.

Dr. Muizzu noted that his government would initiate a three-pronged approach to national development which includes establishment of a stable economy, revolutionary transformation, and economic expansion.

He also promised to reduce the state budget's deficit to a single digit, and increase the country's reserve within the next five years.

Dr. Muizzu pledged, if elected as president, he will establish a debt management plan, which he aims to implement within the first year of assuming office. His vision includes restoring the credit rating to the levels observed in 2016.

"God willing, we would not face challenges once we regain investor confidence by increasing our credit ratings, which would help us with loan refinancing," Dr. Muizzu added.

Components of Economic Manifesto

- Reduce US dollar exchange rate and limit fluctuations

- Implement a new statutory act to enforce monetary transfers to the Sovereign Development Fund (SDF)

- Full-fledged implementation of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) law

- Facilitate international payment gateways

Dr. Muizzu further pledged enhancing new SEZ opportunities across Maldives, and establish a new investment bank. The bank, he said, will facilitate in bringing foreign investments to finance economic sectors and their growth.

The opposition candidate's economic manifesto envisions a growth of Maldives GDP to MVR 150 billion by 2028 and an increase of GDP per capita to USD 17,000.

He pledged to increase the usable reserve to USD 500 million and the SDF to USD 500 million as well.