Nasheed to Ameer: You cannot claim financial affairs to be outside ministry’s mandate

Speaker of Parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed presides over a parliamentary sitting on May 30, 2022. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed expressed displeasure at the written response provided by Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer to a question on Wednesday, stating that he couldn’t claim something related to the financial affairs of the state to be outside the scope of his responsibility.

Deputy Speaker, North Galolhu MP Eva Abdulla had asked Ameer for a written response to her query regarding the state’s reserves.

His response was read during the parliamentary sitting on Wednesday morning.

In his response, Ameer said that the foreign reserve was managed by the central bank, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), as required by law, and that the management of the statistics and preparation of projections was MMA’s responsibility.

He asked Eva to obtain the information she required from MMA.

Once the Parliament’s Secretary-General Fathimath Niusha finished reading Ameer’s response, Nasheed said he found the answer lacking.

“Given that the question asked by North Galolhu MP Eva pertained to the responsibilities of the minister, he is required to answer to Parliament under Article 134 of the Constitution. Therefore, the minister must revise the letter he sent in response, and resubmit it to the Parliament,” he said.

Nasheed said that according to Article 16 of the Constitution, the President had the authority to create all government ministries required and to set the mandate for the ministries, and was required to seek parliamentary approval for such decisions.

He said that a legal amendment the President ratified on February 22, 2019 established all affairs related to public finance, the state budget, state expenditure and income, as well as foreign aid and loans, as part of the mandate of the Finance Ministry.

Eva had asked Ameer for details regarding how many days of staples, fuel and medical supplies the funds in the state reserve could import by end of July.

Ameer said the state would have enough funds in its usable reserve to import essential products such as staples, fuel and medical supplies for five months, starting from end of July.