The parliamentary committee on Wednesday passed the bill to pay a monthly allowance of MVR 35,000 out of state funds to all individuals that filled the position of Vice President.
The bill on Vice President retirement benefits submitted by MP Ahmed Saleem (Redwave Saleem) of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), was passed by the temporary committee after major alterations.
Voting on these amendments will take place later on Wednesday, after the bill is sent to the parliament floor.
Declaring that former VPs deserve security, respect and reverence, Saleem stated this was the reason for submitting the bill.
According to the bill, Vice Presidents will only receive the financial allowance if they are not an employee of the state. Additionally, the bill states that VPs must be provided with adequate security detail upon request.
Moreover, concessions will be granted in line with the government's policies on medical treatment from Maldives or abroad. The bill also states that relevant authorities must arrange transportation for VPs within capital Male'.
All Vice Presidents who served after the implementation of the new constitution since August 7, 2008, are eligible for these privileges following the ratification of the bill.
However, any Vice Presidents found guilty of criminal charges are excluded from the privileges offered by this amendment from the time their final judgement is delivered.
Out of the five VPs currently alive, only three are eligible for the benefits: Mohamed Waheed Deen, Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and Abdulla Jihad. Current VP Faisal Naseem will be eligible for privileges if his tenure concludes without a proven criminal charge.
Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, who was found guilty of criminal charges, is barred from the benefits granted by this amendment.
Furthermore, former Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik will not receive VP benefits as he filled the post of President afterwards. He, however, will receive presidential retirement benefits.
Currently, allowances are provided from the state budget for past presidents only, including their office operation expenditures, living allowances and financial allowances. Every year, millions are allocated in the state budget for presidential retirement benefits.