Finance Ministry: BML has not yet decided to lower card limit for USD transactions

Finance Minister Dr. Mohamed Shafeeg. (Photo/Finance Ministry)

Bank of Maldives (BML) has reportedly provided assurance to Finance Ministry that the bank has not yet decided lower the limit for US dollar transactions on the bank’s debit and credit cards.

Finance Ministry, in a statement on Monday, said the Ministry, alongside Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) and BML, is undertaking efforts to bring positive changes to the limits on credit and debit and the foreign currency market in light of the economic and financial state of the Maldives.

The Ministry also reiterated that the Maldivian government was continuously undertaking efforts to improve the nation’s economic and financial state, reduce obstructions posed due to debts and pave the way for easy access to foreign currency.

They also assured that the current administration would surely lead the Maldives to a state of financial sufficiency by overcoming the economic and financial difficulties faced by the nation when the administration took office.

The current monthly limits for USD transactions via the national bank’s debit and credit cards are USD 250 and USD 750, respectively.

A source from BML confirmed the bank has decided to lower its card limits, and will make an official announcement, soon.

According to the source, the bank decided to make the decision due to a severe shortage of USD.

In December, the cabinet decided to raise the card limit on US dollar transactions for overseas Maldivian students, which is currently capped at USD 750 dollars per month, to USD 1,200.

A government spokesperson said the change would take effect on February 1.

But a day ahead of the deadline, the Finance Ministry issued a statement admitting to difficulties in implementing the change.

The shortage in USD has pushed the exchange rate in the black market to above MVR 18. This has worsened inflation in the Maldives, which almost entirely dependent on imports.