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No difficulty in paying Maldives' debt: Finance Minister Ameer

Lamya Abdulla
18 October 2022, MVT 09:38
[FILE] Minister of Finance Mr. Ibrahim Ameer -- Photo: Mihaaru
Lamya Abdulla
18 October 2022, MVT 09:38

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer said on Monday that there is no difficulty in repaying the debt the government is under.

In response to questions asked by parliament members regarding the economic status of Maldives, Ameer said the nation's economy is going better than expected.

He said that the National Bureau of Statistics had estimated that Maldives' economy would see a 37 percent improvement by the end of 2021. However, the latest data from the bureau indicate that the economy had improved by 41.6 percent.

"Maldives is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, post the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, Maldives' economy is on a positive track," Ameer said.

Referring to the recent Fitch Rating assigned to Maldives, Finance Minister said while Maldives' economy is doing well as industries such as tourism and construction have improved, due to external global circumstances, the outlook has become negative.

Ameer said that the Maldives has no difficulty in paying off its debts so far. He said that the debts incurred during the previous five years were also paid off at the most difficult times of 2020.

He said that the debt accumulated by the previous administration amounted to MVR 39 billion. However, the debt is now at MVR 37 billion despite the fact the current government had taken loans to be able to pay its workers during the pandemic.

"There is no difficulty, God be willing, we can continue to pay off our debts," he said.

Ameer expects the state budget deficit for 2022 will increase to MVR 11 billion, despite the fact it was expected to be at MVR 9.8 billion. This is due to the increase in global fuel prices.

However, Ameer said that the government has developed fiscal strategies to increase the state's revenue and reduce expenditure, including increasing revenue by three percent of GDP and reducing expenditure by three percent of GDP.