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Govt allocates MVR 1.6 billion for local councils

Fathmath Shaahunaz
07 November 2019, MVT 14:22
President Solih and VP Faisal meeting with Addu City council members and parliamentarians. PHOTO: TWITTER
Fathmath Shaahunaz
07 November 2019, MVT 14:22

Local councils are anticipating unprecedented financial empowerment with MVR 1.6 billion allocated for island, city and atoll councils in the proposed State Budget for 2020.

The government, which is seeking to fulfil President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's electoral pledge of empowering local councils, stated that this record budget would allow councils to serve the citizens under their jurisdiction independently without depending on the main administration.

Compared to the MVR 656 million allocated for councils this year, 2020's MVR 1.6 billion entails average increases of 148 percent, 155 percent, and 433 percent for island, atoll and city councils respectively.

The policy secretary at the President's Office, Aminath Shauna, stated that the new budget for the local councils would be sufficient to implement the amendments proposed by the government to the Decentralisation Act. The total budget for the local councils constitutes five percent from state revenue, 40 percent from island and lagoon leases, and 100 percent income via the leasing of any land or lagoon under each island's respective jurisdiction.

"These funds will be collected centrally, and a fiscal formula will be used to distribute them to island, atoll and city councils", said Shauna.

Estimated allocations for councils

- Islands with populations less than 500: MVR 3.8 million

- Islands with populations of 500-1000: MVR 5.4 million

- Islands with populations of 1000-2000: MVR 7.9 million

- Islands with populations of 2000-5000: MVR 13.3 million

- Islands with populations greater than 5000: MVR 33 million

The proposed state budget also details individual allocations for each council.

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