Finance Minister: No performance allowance until revenue reaches pre-pandemic levels

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer gestures as he speaks during a meeting with the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee on August 27, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer states the government will resume paying performance allowance to civil servants once the depletion of state revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end.  

Ameer made the statement in response to a written query by Velidhoo MP Mohamed Abdulla Shafeeg on September 7. 

The government suspended the payment of performance allowance to civil servants as a cost-cutting measure in response to the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Shafeeg asked the Ameer when the government will resume payment of performance allowance and if civil servants will be paid for the performance allowance they would have received during the suspension. 

Ameer’s written response to the query was read out at the Parliament on Tuesday morning. 

Ameer said that it was best to resume payment of performance allowance once state revenue returns to pre-pandemic levels, and once the fiscal deficit returns to a sustainable level. 

He said that the government projects revenue will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023. He also said he does not believe it advisable to pay the performance allowance civil servants were denied during the suspension period. 

Ameer, in his letter, noted that the National Pay Commission was currently working on a plan for the implementation of the regulation on issuance of performance allowance, as well as on reducing the differences in pay between civil servants who work in the same level. 

He said that though Maldives may overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, the country would have to continuously work towards overcoming the economic repercussions of the pandemic.