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Parliament rejects resolution on allowances for people laid off over COVID-19 pandemic

Ahmed Aiham
23 June 2020, MVT 14:58
parliamentary representative for the constituency of Kaashidhoo, Kaafu Atoll, MP Abdulla Jabir. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS
Ahmed Aiham
23 June 2020, MVT 14:58

Parliament on Tuesday rejected a resolution submitted by parliamentary representative for the constituency of Kaashidhoo, Kaafu Atoll, MP Abdulla Jabir, to grant allowances for individuals that were laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution was rejected by 27 parliamentarians from the 33 that attended the sitting. Only one voted in favour.

MP Jabir noted that the economic repercussions of the pandemic resulted in thousands of families losing their employment and sources of income.

Claiming that the government was careless in their response, MP Jabir said that these individuals have suffered for the past few months as a consequence.

With the resolution, the lawmaker had proposed to provide state-sponsored allowances till an individual is able to find employment.

Moreover, he called for the government to acquire and establish the resources needed to aid the rebound of the tourism industry, with a bureau to oversee the efforts.

Meanwhile, the government has rolled out the 'Income Support Allowance' relief scheme for individuals experiencing financial difficulties as a result of employment issues due to the novel coronavirus.

The government is granting an allowance of up to MVR 5,000 per month to individuals that fall into four main categories: individuals that were dismissed or suspended from employment, individuals on leave without pay, individuals facing salary deductions, and freelance workers.

Earlier this month, the World Bank also extended USD 12.8 million for the government's COVID-19 Income Support Allowance scheme. Although the government noted a capacity to cater to 13,000 individuals with the finance provided by the World Bank, members of the public have raised concern over unresponsive mechanisms and called for a transparent process in the dissemination of funds.

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