The Edition


Maldives eyes more mega projects in 2018, proposes MVR7 bln

Fathmath Shaahunaz
16 November 2017, MVT 11:29
Aerial shot of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge being developed between Male and Hulhule. PHOTO/ HOUSING MINISTER TWITTER
Fathmath Shaahunaz
16 November 2017, MVT 11:29

The government has proposed to allocate over MVR 7 billion next year for the development of four airports, reclamation of 20 lagoons, and nine other mega projects.

Airport development and lagoon reclamation were also included in this year’s state budget.

Land reclamation underway for runway development at Velana International Airport (VIA). FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU

According to the State Budget 2018 submitted to the parliament by finance minister Ahmed Munawar on Wednesday, the MVR 7 billion budget for these projects comprise of MVR 3.7 billion from the public sector investment programme (PSIP), MVR 2.8 billion from loans, and MVR 4.3 billion from free aid and trust funds.

The government proposes 522 projects under PSIP in 2018, which includes 430 ongoing projects and 93 new ventures. The budget allocates MVR 5.4 billion for the ongoing projects and MVR 1.7 billion for the new ones.

The proposed budget states that PSIP’s main objective is to complete ongoing projects and to invest in economically sound projects.

Some mega projects under PSIP:

Runway development of Velana International Airport (MVR 1 billion)

New terminal development of Velana International Airport (MVR 539 million)

Airport development in the four islands of Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaal atoll, Funadhoo and Nilandhoo in Faafu atoll, and Maavaarulu in Gaafu Dhaal atoll (MVR 246 million)

Development of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge (MVR 213 million)

Water supply, sewerage and waste management project (MVR 134 million)

Reclamation of 20 lagoons, measuring over 10 hectares, for commercial purposes (MVR 107 million)

Hulhumale island development project (MVR 246 million)

Social housing project (462 million)

Development of Dharumavantha Hospital (MVR 447 million)

Finance minister Ahmed Munawar shares proposed State Budget 2018 at a parliament sitting. PHOTO/MAJLIS

The state budget approved for this year had also included airport development in Kulhudhuffushi, Funadhoo and Nilandhoo, while MVR 107 million were allocated for reclamation of 20 lagoons. However, the new state budget also proposes to reclaim 15 hectares of land to establish facilities in Kaafu atoll Thinadhoo island for proper waste management.

Major expenditures under PSIP:

75 projects to overcome challenges in sea transportation (MVR 2.7 billion)

63 harbour development projects

57 projects to establish water and sewerage systems (MVR 1.1 billion)

19 road development projects (MVR 216 million)

Land reclamation (MVR 214 million)

51 environment protection projects (MVR 581 million)

153 projects in the health sector (MVR 807 million)

Other unspecified projects (MVR 670 million)

The state has also allocated, under PSIP, a budget for 19 projects to develop 6,000 housing units in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale under contract financing. Under these projects, a budget of MVR 462 million has been allocated as the equity component of 5,200 studio apartments to be developed in Hulhumale.

The government has proposed a record budget of MVR 27.9 billion for the year 2018, estimating expenditures of MVR 24.9 billion and revenue of MVR 22.4 billion. The budget estimates that the government would receive about MVR 16.3 billion in various forms of taxes, MVR 858 million in foreign aid and about MVR 5.2 from other unspecified sources. The budget is expected to have a deficit of MVR 2.5 billion, which would be 3.2 percent of the GDP.