Supplementary budget sent to committee for review

Parliamentarians pictured during a parliamentary sitting. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

The supplementary budget proposed for the remainder of this year has been forwarded to the parliament’s Budget Committee for review.

The 2023 supplementary budget, along with the 2024 budget, were presented to the Parliament by Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer on Tuesday morning.

At Tuesday’s sitting, it was decided to table the matter of the supplementary budget for today’s sitting.

As tabled, today’s sitting saw lawmakers debate on the supplementary budget, taking additional time for their debate as well. 48 lawmakers voted in favor of forwarding the supplementary budget to the Budget Committee, for review.

Speaker Mohamed Aslam concluded today’s sitting after the forwarding the budget to the committee.

The MVR 6.5 billion supplementary budget includes MVR 3.1 billion for recurrent expenditure and MVR 3.3 billion for capital expenditure.

The allotment for recurrent expenditure includes MVR 1.8 billion for subsidies, MVR 1.2 billion for Aasandha – which will increase the budget allocated for Aasandha this year to MVR 2.3 billion.

Meanwhile, the allotment for capital expenditure includes MVR 1.7 billion for PSIP projects.

With the MVR 6.5 billion supplementary budget, the state budget for 2023 will rise to MVR 49.3 billion.

Finance Minister Ameer, at the advice of the Attorney General, skipped the sitting which initially had the supplementary budget on the agenda as the no-confidence motion against former speaker Mohamed Nasheed had been pending at the parliament.

Therefore, the Democrats said the minister was present in Parliament on Tuesday after violating the privileges of the entire parliament. Members of the party also tried to obstruct the budget presentation saying that the Supreme Court judgment shows that the legal advice received saying not to present the budget was illegal.

However, new Speaker Aslam rejected the Democrats' point of order, allowing the minister to proceed with presenting the budget.

President-Elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has previously stated he wishes to maintain next year’s state budget at MVR 49 billion. In this trajectory, he said one of his priorities will be to maintain the budget at a rate acceptable to international agencies and credit agencies, with also focus on decreasing the debt-to-GDP ratio.