Speaker Nasheed: Parliamentarians not interested in budget discussions

Evaluation of the proposed state budget for 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has stated that the discussions surrounding the proposed state budget for 2021 will be concluded today, after saying that it seemed as if the parliamentarians were not interested in debating the budget. 

Only a few parliamentarians were observed in debating for the budget during yesterday’s sitting as well. Nasheed’s statement came after no parliamentarians requested for a chance to speak on the budget during today’s session as well. However, a parliamentarian was later observed speaking on the budget. 

“Only 18 parliamentarians have so far spoken on this debate. A single parliamentarian has requested to speak on it now. I am planning to stop offering the chance for debates by 10:00. I cannot see any interest by parliamentarians in speaking on the budget. Parliamentarians did not request to speak on it yesterday even. So, I had to stay here.” Said Nasheed. 

While the debates on the budget are to be concluded today, the third session of the parliament was extended yesterday to until December 7, finalize the budget. The parliamentary committee evaluating the budget also recommended increasing the budget by MVR 130 million. 

The state budget for 2021, is calculated at MVR 34.79 billion with an estimated MVR 17.79 billion expected to be received as revenue and aid. This means that there is a massive deficit of MVR 15.50 billion. 

The committee amendments mean that the budget was increased to MVR 34.92 billion. The expected income is MVR 21 billion which means that a deficit is calculated at MVR 12.3 billion.