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Auditor General expresses concerns over rising budget deficit

22 November 2018, MVT 13:03
Auditor General, Hassan Ziyath at the Maldives Account Forum. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEEDH/MIHAARU
22 November 2018, MVT 13:03

Auditor General Hassan Ziyath has appealed to the parliament to take austerity measures to curb excess expenditures, due to increasing budget deficit.

Addressing the budget committee regarding the state budget for next year, Ziyath expressed his concerns over issues that would further increase the government debt.

Ziyath noted that government projects were not managed properly and the agreements for the projects were not enforced accordingly. These projects were delayed, thus their expenditures surpassed the initial budget assigned.

According to Ziyath, the government projects need to be managed well and the agreements implemented properly in order to control the state debt.

The Auditor General further highlighted that the Economic and Youth Council (EYC), which was formed by the previous government, had awarded mega government projects without the bidding process, which had consequently increased expenses.

Hence, the Auditor General advised that putting these development projects on bid would make it more competitive and transparent as well. Thus he noted that it was highly important to make changes to the existing procurement laws.

The government debt in 2016 was at 56 percent of GDP although in 2017 it had a significant marginal increase to 60 percent. The government debt estimated for next year is around 61 percent.

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