The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has stated that the budget earmarked for 2021 is not enough for the commission of execute their legal mandate. This came after the Ministry of Finance and Treasury set MVR 24 million ($1.556 million) for the commission in the 2021 State Budget.
Speaking at the Parliament’s Budget Evaluation Committee, HRCM member Moomina Waheed stated that after recurrent expenses, the commission would be left with just MVR 5 million ($ 324,254.21) for all other expenses. She stated that the commission would not be able to execute their legal mandate to monitor the jails and conduct official trips to other islands with the current budgets.
Furthermore, she also stated that the law dictates that appointment of 8 staffs at the “Whistleblower Unit”, but due to budget constraints the commission decided to appoint just 3 staffs. But due to the currently planned budget, the commission would not be able to appoint any staff to the Whistleblower Unit, leaving the unit vacant.
The current economic recession along with the loss of foreign investors has meant that the Government of Maldives is forced to cut back on spending and economic activities. As such the budgets set for major government offices, commissions and several public services is considerably lowered for 2021 compared to that of the previous years.