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No new projects this year with Indian loans: Finance Minister

Lamya Abdulla
11 August 2022, MVT 14:23
Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer (R), Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail and Gender Minister Aishath Mohamed Didi at a meeting during the official trip to India with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih last week -- Photo: President's Office
Lamya Abdulla
11 August 2022, MVT 14:23

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer said on Wednesday that President Ibrahim Solih did not obtain Indian loans for any new projects during his official trip to India last week.

Talking to Mihaaru news, he said the USD 119 million (MVR 1.8 billion) loaned by India's Exim Bank to Maldives to develop 2,000 housing units was for an ongoing project. Ameer said the project was initiated eight months ago.

The minister, who was part of President Solih's delegation to India, said the Maldivian government has increased the line of credit obtained from Exim Bank of India by an additional USD 100 million on the trip. The initial line of credit issued was USD 800 million.

He noted that although the line of credit has been increased to USD 900 million (MVR 13.8 billion), the money will not be counted for the active debt until the money is used to finance projects.

"We have stated that we will not start a new project that is not part of the pending projects. Loans will not be taken for a new project. We have not obtained a loan for a new project during the trip to India," the finance minister said.

Several infrastructure projects are being carried out in the Maldives under financing provided by Indian line of credit facilities. These include the 4,000 housing units project in Hulhumale', the Vilimale' Bridge project and the development of airports in the atolls.

Speaking at a press conference in June, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said Maldives will not carry out any more new projects through loans to prepare for the global economic downturn.

The government has announced new methods of providing subsidies for spending next year. One of them is the government's decision to provide subsidies to those who need it. GST and TGST will also be increased to increase revenue.