Statistics show the national debt rose by three percent in the first quarter of 2019.
The economic bulletin for Q1 released by Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) shows the national debt rose to MVR 49.6 billion by the end of quarter. The figure is a 3.3 percent (MVR 1.6 billion) increase compared to the MVR 48 billion in national debt listed by MMA by end of the fourth quarter of 2018.
Statistics show an increase in both foreign and domestic debt.
Foreign debt rose from MVR 20.3 billion to MVR 20.8 billion. The rise in foreign debt has been attributed to an increase in loans secured for imports. MVR 558.8 million in new loans were taken from foreign lenders in Q1.
Meanwhile, domestic debt rose from MVR 27.7 billion to MVR 28.8 billion. The rise in domestic debt has been attributed to an increase in sale of securities by the Maldivian government. Treasury bills sold to banks to offset the budgeted debt rose MVR 751.9 million, and treasury bills sold to other financial institutions rose to MVR 386.8 million in Q1.
The economic bulletin report notes the number of treasury bills sold by the government has now begun to decrease.
FALL IN INCOME
Statistic show a MVR 71.9 million fall in national income in Q1 of 2019 compared to Q1 of 2018. The fall in income has been attributed to a decrease in income generated from resort leases and a decrease in tax income.
MVR 4.1 billion was generated as income in Q1. 83 percent of the figure (MVR 3.4 billion) was made up of taxes, and falls MVR 18.8 million short of the tax income generated in Q1 of 2018.
Both tourism goods and services tax (TGST) and green tax fell during Q1. TGST fell by MVR 62.8 million, and green tax fell by MVR 30.3 million.
In contrast, business profit tax (BPT) rose by MVR 24.5 million, and import tax rose by MVR 45.9 million.
Income generated from other sources dropped by 17 percent in Q1. The drop has been attributed to a fall in profit generated by State companies and a fall in dividends collected by the government.
Income from other sources fell by total MVR 94.4 million.
The national expenditure during Q1 is listed as MVR 3.5 billion. The figure is a MVR 177.4 million decrease compared to the national expenditure in Q1 of 2018.