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Parliament debate on the government’s proposed budget for 2021 has ended after over 15 hours of debate. Following the proposal of the budget last Monday, the MVR 34.7 billion budget was criticized by both the opposition and ruling party members.

Majority of the parliamentarians criticized the budget stating the high debt in contrast to the estimated government revenue. They also stated that adoption of the currently proposed budget would cause international financial organizations and investors to further lose confidence in the Maldives.

Opposition MP’s also heavily criticized the proposed budget with opposition Vice-President MP Ghassan Maumoon stating that the assumptions taken in creating the proposed budgets were unrealistic and unfeasible. He further called on to revitalize the economy by providing a universal basic income for citizens in need. He also criticized the proposed increase in political appointees for the 2021 budget and stated that “now is the time to provide aid  to fisherman, farmers, the unemployed and those facing hardship in paying their rents.”.

Following the conclusion of the debate over the proposed budget, it is currently being further analyzed by the Budget Evaluation Committee. However, due to disagreement over the proposed budget, it is unclear whether the ruling party will give the green light for the proposed budget or whether the government will amend the controversial proposed budget for 2021.

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